The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program: The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a database that reveals a very nonsensical US health care system, where prices for the same exact treatments vary wildly at hospitals sometime just a few blocks from each other.
THIS IS WHAT THE CRIMINALS DO!
(Photo: Ralf / Flickr)What do you get when you have a for-profit healthcare system, like the one we have here in America, that not a single one of the 33 other OECD countries has?
You get one hospital in Washington, D.C that charges $115,000 to keep a patient on a ventilator, and another hospital in that same city that charges just under $53,000 for the same thing.
You get one hospital in Miami that charges over $166,000 for treating a heart attack with four stents and major complications, and another hospital in that city that charges around $89,000 for the same thing.
For years, we weren’t able to get a clear picture of what various hospitals charged for similar procedures.
Hospitals have gone out of their way for years to hide their procedure price lists, almost as if they were national secrets. But not anymore, because the cat is finally out of the bag.
Today, the Obama administration and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a database that reveals, for the first time, how much the vast majority of hospitals in our country charge for the 100 most common in-patient procedures billed to Medicare.
The data released today covers claims that were filed in the fiscal year 2011, and includes over 163,000 individual charges recorded at more than 3,300 hospitals in 306 metropolitan areas.
The numbers paint a picture of a very nonsensical US healthcare system, where prices for the same exact treatments vary wildly, and at random, at hospitals sometime just a few city blocks from each other.
Let’s look at hospital costs in and around New York City…