Disparity in medical billing – The Washington Post (Credits)

By Wilson Andrews, Darla Cameron and Dan Keating, Published: May 8, 2013

For the first time, the government has released prices that hospitals charge for common inpatient procedures. Until now, these charges were competitive secrets in the industry. While the average bill for procedures across the United States varies widely by type of hospital, the Medicare reimbursement amount doesn’t vary much.

The numbers reveal a tremendous, unexplained variation in cost of services. A Washington Post analysis of the data shows that, even on the same street, hospitals can vary by upwards of 300 percent in price for the same service. The average bill for procedures and the average Medicare reimbursement varies by hospital ownership. Two non-profit hospitals that sit on opposite sides of the same street in Miami have different average bill sizes and roughly similar average Medicare payments for the same diagnoses.

How much do providers charge in your state?

Many common procedures are billed vastly different amounts across the country. Find out what your hospital charges, or choose a state to see the average its health-care providers charge for these procedures.

SOURCE: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) inpatient data for 2011. Aerial photo by Google.

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