At small rural hospitals, paying more for worse treatment: WSJ

Summary: “Small rural hospitals called critical-access hospitals have in recent years been performing more and more inpatient orthopedic surgeries, even as their overall stays decline, a Journal analysis of Medicare billing records shows,” Christopher Weaver, Anna Wilde Mathews and Tom McGinty write in The Wall Street Journal. “Inpatient joint-replacement surgeries covered by Medicare rose 42.6% […]

Our hospital pricing database: Data posted by providers, in convenient form

Filed Under: Costs

Summary:  How much does childbirth  cost? How much does an MRI cost? Gall bladder surgery, arthroscopy? We are asked that question a lot, and so we built a  database of cash or self-pay hospital prices that were posted by providers online. While we’ve been collecting pricing for modest “shoppable” procedures since our founding in early 2011 […]

Who’s paying the chargemaster rate? Not just uninsured people, but also the insured

Summary: It’s long been thought that uninsured people were paying the highest prices for their medical care — that an uninsured or out-of-network patient paying cash has to pay the most. But that’s no longer true. We are learning that insured people are paying the chargemaster or sticker price, and they’re upset. Why? There’s a […]

How much does an MRI cost?

Filed Under: Costs

We like price lists. So it’s not surprising that we found ourselves perusing a California hospital’s list of charges one afternoon. This is for Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, and we focused on one of the prices that we know a lot about: the MRI of the lumbar spine, HCPCS code 72148, without contrast or […]

Health pricing is chaotic: The Wall Street Journal

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

  “To appreciate what’s wrong with the current system, imagine four patients identical in every way except for their insurance coverage. They report to the same doctor for a routine procedure, say, a colonoscopy,” writes Joseph Rago in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, arguing that an unfettered free market will take care […]