Huge Variation in Medical Costs Shows Need for Price Transparency

Although some price variation is to be expected between large cities and rural areas, "extreme" price differences sometimes existed within the same market.

The costs for knee and hip replacements—the 2 fastest-growing medical treatments in the country—vary by more than $20,000 from one place to another, demonstrating that insurers should develop price transparency tools so consumers can shop for the best prices, according to a new report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).

Although some price variation is to be expected between large cities and rural areas, the BCBSA report found that "extreme" price differences sometimes existed within the same market.

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