The cost of new hips and knees for privately insured patients varied widely across three dozen hospitals in six states, with hospitals themselves the primary reason, a study shows.
The research analyzed spending for hospital care plus other medical services during the month after surgery, known as an episode of care. Findings show a two-fold variation in the cost for hip and knee episodes and “the price of the initial inpatient stay was by far the most important factor in a hospital's spending,” wrote researchers for the National Institute for Health Care Reform.
Average spending per episode ran from $17,000 to $35,000 across 36 hospitals in nine markets. Four of the markets were in Michigan (Detroit, Flint, Warren and Lansing), home to the auto industry, which founded the National Institute for Health Care Reform with the United Auto Workers. The study analyzed medical bills for 590,000 individuals with insurance in 2011 though the auto industry
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Source: Modern Healthcare