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In Health Care, High Cost ≠ High Quality

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:26pm


From the NY Times this morning, too:



"Stark evidence that high medical payments do not necessarily buy high-quality patient care is presented in a hospital study set for release today.

In a Pennsylvania government survey of the state’s 60 hospitals that perform heart bypass surgery, the best-paid hospital received nearly $100,000, on average, for the operation while the least-paid got less than $20,000. At both, patients had comparable lengths of stay and death rates.



And among the 20 hospitals serving metropolitan Philadelphia, two of the highest paid actually had higher-than-expected death rates, the survey found.



Hospitals say there are numerous reasons for some of the high payments, including the fact that a single very expensive case can push up the averages.



Still, the Pennsylvania findings support a growing national consensus that as consumers, insurers and employers pay more for care, they are not necessarily getting better care. Expensive medicine may, in fact, be poor medicine."



Complete article can be accessed here .
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