Joan Rivers Surgeon Thinks Anesthesiologists Are a Waste of Money For Throat Procedure

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The surgeon who performed the throat procedure on
Joan Rivers the day she went into cardiac arrest wrote
an article telling his fellow doctors it’s not cost-
effective to have an anesthesiologist present for
procedures like the one that killed Joan.Dr. Lawrence
Cohen — who was also the Medical Director of the
Yorkville Endoscopy Center — wrote in 2012 … it was
not always COST-EFFECTIVE to have an
anesthesiologist on board for outpatient endoscopic
procedures. Dr. Cohen writes, “Although we can all
agree that [monitored anesthesia care] is a highly
effective and safe method of sedation, the question is
whether it is worth the extra cost to our health care
system.”Dr. Cohen then answers his question: “The
answer is clearly no.”Dr. Cohen crunches the number in
his article, saying the average cost for an
anesthesiologist is $400 per procedure, but the risk of
death is 1 out of 100,000. Cohen therefore concludes it
costs $40,000,000 to save one life, adding that cost “far
exceeds … an acceptable level of cost-
effectiveness.”There was an anesthesiologist present at
the beginning of the procedure, but our sources say it’s
unclear if she was there when Joan’s vital signs
plummeted. A scathing report blamed the doctors for
being inattentive and not noticing her vital signs were
in the danger zone.

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