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Health Care Costs in Los Gatos in 1900

The fees charged by Los Gatos physician Dr. Frank Knowles at the beginning of the 20th century seem reasonable by today's standards.

Dr. Frank W. Knowles (1858-1936) set up his medical practice in Los Gatos shortly after graduating from college in 1883.

He administered to patients in town and also to those living in the mountains as far as the summit.

His usual mode of transport was a narrow wheeled buggy pulled by a team of horses, but in bad weather he rode his saddle horse.

According to this receipt dated Aug. 31, 1900 he charged $16.50 for six visits between May 12 and June 9, and he was paid $10 on account leaving a balance of $6.50.

Source: Hooked on Los Gatos, the Library and Museum History Project

Charles Bergtold Collection

Jeanne Rajabzadeh January 26, 2013 at 03:28 PM
This does not sound like a lot of money now, but I'm sure it was at the time. Wonder what other costs were at the time so as to compare.
KMD January 26, 2013 at 07:43 PM
$2.75 per visit! Wonder if he was a specialist of some sort? We found the hospital bill for the birth of my father-in-law in McKeesport, PA on Feb 3, 1934. Drum roll please... for $5! Insurance companies, Malpractice Insurance, middlemen & doctors having to employee an insurance billing staff all have driven Health Care prices through the roof. Obamacare is only going to send it further through the roof with a bloated bureaucracy we all have to pay salaries and pensions to by all the taxes imposed in Obamacare for them to manage our HC for us. Look what is coming for Smokers http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MED_HEALTH_COSTS_REALITY_CHECK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-01-26-10-03-12 Fat people... you are next on the gov't menu! Too bad people don't look at health care insurance the same way they do car insurance. Car insurance doesn't cover tires, oil, gas, windshield wipers etc (preventative). It's for the BIG stuff that you don't have enough money in your pocket to pay for. Homeowners is the same. The only health care insurance anyone should need is major medical. Everything else should be paid out of pocket. If you have an existing health problem you should be able to buy supplemental insurance to cover it. Prices would drop considerably for us all if that were the case. What a mess we have gotten ourselves into.
Gary Hinze January 27, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Cost of living increases about 4% per year over the long run. $16.50 at the end of August, 1900, would be about $1,356.17 today. $226.03 per visit. We don't know what that included. Transportation? Medications? Surgery?

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