Wide Variation Across the US in Health Care Costs

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Healthcare prices vary widely across the US, and even within a state.
Healthcare prices vary widely across the US, and even within a state.

HealthDay News — Health care prices vary widely across the United States, even within the same state, according to a study published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

Cost differences for the same procedures can be huge, according to the Health Care Cost Institute study of the prices paid by patients with private insurance, NBC News reported.

For example, the national average cost of a knee replacement is $33 098, but the cost is nearly $39 000 in Indiana and Minnesota, $40 000 in New Hampshire and Wisconsin, and $43 000 in Oregon but just $24 000 in New Jersey. The national average price of a pregnant woman's ultrasound is $268, but the procedure costs $895 in Alaska and $201 in Arizona. The national average for removal of a cataract is $3300, but that procedure costs $8000 in Alaska and $2300 in Florida.

 

Even within a state, there can be large differences in price. The California average for a knee replacement is just under $40 000, but the surgery costs $57 000 in Sacramento, NBC News reported.

Reference

Newman D, Parente ST, Barrette E, Kennedy K. Prices For Common Medical Services Vary Substantially Among The Commercially Insured. Health Affairs. 2016; doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1379.

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