Do want to pay $14,000 or $25,000 for A Hip?
A recent article in the Boston Globe (5/27) highlighted the "big variation in the cost of procedures between the Mass hospitals". They used examples of a heart attack costing $9,700 at South Shore Hospital versus $19,000 at U Mass Hospital....similarly a hip replacement at Lowell General is $14,000 versus $25,000 at Brigham and Women's. If you think this is unique to just Mass then as the saying goes, think again. These types of variations exist across most communities, regions and states across the United States. This article just highlights the cost variation among facilities but even more important is that these types of variations also exist in the quality of the care. Mortality and complication rates can vary by as much as 40%. It literally can mean the difference between life and death. This is all information patients should have the right to consider before any procedures. Unfortunately the reliable data source for this information does not exist . It is really surprising that with all the other consumer protection rights and financial disclosure laws that exist for almost every other major purchase that health care is exempt. I could not imagine purchasing a house or car without having the financial information disclosed prior to my decision. Healthcare not not does not disclose the price but it takes months before we as a consumer can understand out financial impact once the insurance companies process the claims. One might say cars and houses are a much more significant financial decision, however as more and more patients are faced with high deductibles or no insurgence, a hospital visit can run into hundreds of thousands (think cancers......accidents..transplants..etc). The knee replacement example In Mass is a great example of why an open marketplace is necessary in this industry (like for instance OHM ;)).
One final thought - as the baby boomers age the number of knee replacements that are being done is growing significantly. Our tool can help you find that high quality knee replacement for the $14,000 rather than the $25,000.
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