A joint replacement at one Los Angeles hospital costs $297,000; at another, 12 miles away, it's $84,000 – a gap that health-care experts say could help consumers, armed with such information, play a role in driving costs down.
Everybody knows US medical costs are high. Now Americans get to see exactly how those high prices can vary from hospital to hospital – sometimes within a very short space of miles.
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Wednesday released a new database that lays the issue bare in stark detail.
Consider the disparity just within the nation’s largest state: California.
In one type of joint replacement procedure, charges vary from a high of $297,000 at Centinela Hospital in the Los Angeles area, to a low of $84,000 at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica or Pomerado Hospital in Poway.