KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Some Hospitals Under The Microscope For Steep Pricing

The New York Times and Los Angeles Times report on specific hospitals that have been shown to be among the most expensive in the nation. Meanwhile, Modern Healthcare reports on interest from some senators in overhauling Medicare's hospital payment system.

The New York Times: New Jersey Hospital Is The Costliest In The Nation
The most expensive hospital in America is not set amid the swaying palm trees of Beverly Hills or the luxury townhouses of New York’s Upper East Side (Creswell, Meier and McGinty, 5/16).

Los Angeles Times: Cedars-Sinai Stands Out For Steep Pricing
When Medicare disclosed average charges from thousands of U.S. hospitals for 100 common procedures last week, only one hospital was near the top in every category: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Be it a cardiac stent, a hip replacement or a pacemaker, Cedars-Sinai's list prices for these routine treatments ranked among the top 5 percent in the country (Terhune and Poston, 5/17).

Modern Healthcare: Senators Seek Overhaul Of Hospital Payment System
When it comes to Medicare hospital payment systems, the exceptions are the rule. Congress' nonpartisan investigative arm reported Thursday that 91 percent of hospitals paid by Medicare receive some dispensation or add-on to the program's standard payment system. The Inpatient Prospective Payment System was designed to maximize "cost-control, efficiency and access" when it was launched 30 years ago, according to the Government Accountability Office report. But Congress has piled an accumulating number of exemptions and carve-outs for various types of hospitals (Daly, 5/16).

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