California Creates Website Showing “Sticker'” Prices for 28 Surgical Procedures at Hospitals
Posted May 24 2009 10:43pm
I have to somewhat agree with what is said here in this article, it might just confuse more than help. Even patients with no insurance can negotiate and the numbers reference the amounts billed, not collected, as well all know, the 2 are far from ever being equal. The one comparison between Hoag and UCI Irvine quoted below got my attention though, as this is huge. UCI just opened their new facility so perhaps there’s some influence there as Hoag Hospital is in Newport Beach where you would almost expect and anticipate the rates to be higher, but not so in this one comparison.
It could be helpful to see what the range is for a procedure maybe, but not for shopping price entirely. BD
State officials on Thursday unveiled a new online tool for comparing what hospitals charge for surgeries, part of an ongoing move to educate consumers on the cost of health care.
Prospective patients can compare what hospitals in their county, city or across the state charged on average for 28 common surgeries such as gallbladder removal, hysterectomies or heart valve replacement.
For instance, in Orange County, the highest price for a Caesarean section was $31,000 at UC Irvine Medical Center. The lowest was nearly $11,000 at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. For disc removal, Tustin Hospital had the highest charges at nearly $74,000. Placentia-Linda Hospital was the lowest at about $22,000.
The charges are hospital averages and represent what is billed, but not necessarily collected. State officials said while health plans, Medicare and Medi-Cal pay lower rates, the charges reflect the sticker price.