Another reason why our health care costs are hard to control: The same operation can cost you anywhere from $11,000 to $125,000 if you are uninsured. It just depends on which hospital the surgery is performed.
That is the bottom line result of a new study by researchers at the University of Iowa made public this week who sought to find out what the total cost – doctor, hospital – of the procedure.
The team wanted to find out how much variance there was in costs as well as what percentage of hospitals could or would provide an estimate for the same common procedure – hip replacement. The team contacted two hospitals in each state and 20 hospitals that specialize in orthopedic procedures.
“Of those they surveyed, only 16 percent could immediately provide a complete price, including the doctor’s fees and hospital costs, for the procedure. And 47 percent of the hospitals came up with a figure only after health care providers were separately contacted,” says NBC News about the study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in its publication, JAMA Internal Medicine.
“Hospitals still have a long way to go to provide total transparency in pricing,” Jaime Rosenthal, one of the study’s authors, told NBC News. “It was surprising, we either didn’t get the information, or it was extremely difficult to get.”
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