Where You Get Surgery Matters — Especially For Cost
Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers disclosed for the first time what they pay health care providers for surgeries. The result: wide gaps in what different providers charge.
U.S. Insurance Study Charts Huge Price Gaps For Hip, Knee Surgery
Hip and knee replacements, two of the fastest-growing U.S. medical procedures, are subject to huge - and apparently random - price variations within the same geographical areas, a new insurance industry study said on Wednesday. The study by Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurers adds to the evidence of massive disparities between what different hospitals and medical practices charge in the world's most expensive healthcare system. (Morgan, 1/21)
The Washington Post's Wonkblog:
A Knee Replacement Surgery Could Cost $17k Or $61k. And That’s In The Same City.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, whose member organizations cover about one in three Americans, for the first time on Wednesday released prices that its insurers are charged by health-care providers. The group's report cover prices for knee and hip replacement surgeries, which are among the fastest growing procedures in the country. (Millman, 1/21)
Study Finds ‘Extreme’ Variation In Surgery Costs
A hip replacement at one hospital in Boston costs more than four times what it does at another facility in the city, an extreme example of the wild variation that’s seen in the cost of medical procedures nationwide, a new study finds. (Norman, 1/21)
Elsewhere, high cancer drug prices are examined, and Americans count health care as their biggest expense --
The Wall Street Journal's Pharmalot:
High Prices For Cancer Drugs Are Set At Launch: ‘It’s Where The Action Is’
There is little question that rising prices for medicines – including many cancer treatments – is a flashpoint in the growing controversy over health care costs. But just how much have the prices for new cancer drugs been rising in recent years? A new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that, of 58 cancer drugs that were approved by the FDA between 1995 and 2013, the launch prices increased by 10% a year, or an average of about $8,500, when adjusted for inflation and a formula for determining survival benefits. (Silverman, 1/21)
The Fiscal TImes:
Americans Rank Health Care as Top Financial Burden
It’s been nearly five years since the Affordable Care Act was passed expanding coverage to more than 10 million Americans. Despite the law’s handful of provisions aimed at curbing medical costs, Americans still rank health care as the top financial problem plaguing their bottom lines. (Ehley, 1/21)