Medicare Spotlights Hospitals With Especially Costly Patients

The government has identified hundreds of hospitals whose Medicare patients are incurring especially high bills, a first step toward using bonuses and penalties to encourage more efficient care.

The new Medicare figures show wide variance among hospitals around the country, even ones just a few miles apart. In Los Angeles, for example, the average patient admitted to Los Angeles Community Hospital cost Medicare nearly $24,644 during the stay and in the month afterward, 37 percent above the national median. Across town, according to the data, an essentially similar patient admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center cost Medicare $17,628, or 2 percent below the median.

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Source: Kaiser Health News