Saturday, January 24, 2015

Surgery: A New Knee Could Cost $11-$70 THOUSAND ... Depending in Many Cases Where You Live

The cost of having a knee or hip replaced varies wildly and can be up to four times more in one place than another -— even in the same area, a report out Wednesday found.
A total knee replacement averaged about $31,000 in 64 markets where Blue Cross Blue Shield analyzed its claims data. But in Dallas, it ranged from $16,772 to $61,584.86.
A total knee replacement averaged about $31,000 in 64 
markets where Blue Cross Blue Shield analyzed its claims 
data, but in Dallas, it ranged from $16,772 to $61,584.86
Across the USA, knee replacements costs as little as $11,317 in Montgomery, Ala., and as much as $69,654 in New York City,
Some of the price differences are expected -— rent and other overhead costs are much higher in New York City than in Alabama. But the reasons why hip replacement in Fort Collins, Colo., costs tens of thousands more than in Pittsburgh may have more to do with whatever the market will bear.
The price hospitals charge is often discussed, but the new report is the first time BCBS has disclosed the prices after its negotiates with hospitals and doctors. In May 2013, the federal government for the first time released Medicare data showing hospitals nationally charge wildly varying amounts for common major medical care.
Spiraling health care costs, higher insurance plan deductibles and increased cost sharing have made procedure prices more important than ever to consumers. Insurers are also tired of paying ever-higher prices for treatments they say shouldn't change so much year to year — and certainly not hospital to hospital in the same region.
Deductibles were up nearly 50% between 2009 to 2014, increasing from an average of $826 to $1,217, the Kaiser Family Foundation said in a report last fall. It's not unusual now, however, for people with employer-paid or individual insurance through the new Affordable Care Act exchanges to have deductibles of $5,000 or even $10,000. Many also often have to pay 20% to 30% of the price
. Read the rest of the story HERE.

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