Two Surveys Show ‘Huge Variation’ In Health Costs In U.S.
The Wall Street Journal: Two studies out Monday one is a country-by-country survey by the International Federation of Health Plans, and the second from Change: healthcare "attempt to bring some clarity to how costs stack up, both between different countries and among U.S. providers that might be just a few blocks apart." In IFHP's survey, "what may be surprising is the huge variation" in prices. In the United States, an MRI scan "ranged from $509 to more than $2,590 (5% of prices were above that)." The Healthcare Transparency Index from Change: healthcare includes "data from more than 1.3 million medical claims," and "attempts to help people identify discrepancies in health-care costs and take advantage of them to save money. Prescription drugs offered the highest opportunity for cost savings, given the big variations in price, the report found. For example, the monthly price of Abilify for depression ranged from $419 to $628 depending on the pharmacy" (Hobson, 11/22).
Earlier, related KHN coverage: Insurers' Payments To Hospitals Vary Significantly By Region (Rau, 11/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.