Few have seemed to care what medical procedures cost since the government took most of them on via Medicare and Medicaid. Since that government obtains its money ultimately from taxpayers, that carelessness may have been not only unwise, but costly as well.
A database has now been established for the amounts charged for a number of common procedures at various hospitals. Hospitals will explain it for you. This has occurred since government has paid less than the standard for most procedures, so hospitals have overcharged the difference to private, uninsured patients. All well and good, except that the various hospitals never bothered to get together on these add-ons so that they were the same everywhere. As a result, they weren’t the same everywhere but were in fact, quite different. One hospital might charge $35,000 for a procedure, it’s neighbor maybe wanted $140,000 for the same thing.
A new data base listing the charges for everyone has been assembled under government requirements and the discrepancies have been showing up. Hospitals will now have to rationalize their billing of private patients.
If government or an insurer pays for your care, you neddn’t worry over this, your payer takes care of it. If you’re a private patient, you can take advantage of a new website that uses the database and shows you the charges for any given procedure in your vicinity. ,
Comparison us a link that will provide you the charges for given procedures at hospitals near you, allowing you to choose the cheapest should you wish. And this will force rationalization of these heretofore disparate costs. A beneficial service, I should think.
Of course such costs have remained so disparate for so long because government prevented their publication and if enough government clients howl loud and long enough, the data may disappear again. But for now, there it is; take it!