Pretty incredible data showing what different hospitals charge for the same procedures. Gotta love for-profit healthcare.
As part of the Obama administration’s work to make our health care system more affordable and accountable, data are being released that show significant variation across the country and within communities in what hospitals charge for common inpatient services.
In the District, George Washington University’s average bill for a patient on a ventilator was $115,000, while Providence Hospital’s average charge for the same service was just under $53,000. For a lower joint replacement, George Washington University charged almost $69,000 compared with Sibley Memorial Hospital’s average of just under $30,000.
Treating a simple case of pneumonia, with no complications, cost $124,051 in Philadelphia and $5,093 in Water Valley, Miss., with an average charge of $24,549.
Experts attribute the disparities to a health system that can set prices with impunity because consumers rarely see them — and rarely shop for discounts. Although the government has collected this information for years, it was housed in a bulky database that researchers had to pay to access.