$182,000 for Appendix Removal? Why Hospital Bills Vary Widely
Moreover, patients usuallyِ haveِ no idea whatِ theirِ bill willِ beِ when theyِ enter theِ hospital, saidِ study researcher Dr.
Renee Hsia, anِ assistant professor ofِ emergency medicine atِ the University ofِ California, San Francisco.
And thoseِ who provide care areِ usually unaware ofِ howِ much theirِ treatment recommendations cost, Hsia said.
Same illness, ranging price
Hsia andِ colleagues analyzed information fromِ more thanِ 19,000 patients ages 18 toِ 59 whoِ wereِ hospitalized inِ California inِ 2009.
The median price wasِ $33,611, meaning aboutِ half ofِ the patients wereِ charged moreِ than that, andِ half wereِ charged lessِ than that.
But aboutِ one-third ofِ the variation remained unexplained, theِ researchers said.
Prices couldِ beِ agreed uponِ byِ a consensus ofِ health care providers andِ insurers, andِ be madeِ publicly available, Hsia said.
Medicare hasِ taken someِ steps toِ makeِ price information availableِ to theِ public.
For instance, itِ hasِ a website, Hospital Compare, whereِ consumers canِ learn general information aboutِ their hospital, suchِ asِ whether Medicare spends moreِ per patient thereِ thanِ itِ doesِ per patient nationally.