A state Health Department report finds huge variations in what hospitals charge for four common procedures — for example knee replacements ranged from a low of about 62-hundred dollars to nearly 47-thousand. State health economist Stefan Gildemeister says, “There are some people who are paying more — some payers who are paying more for health care services than is necessary, and if there was more transparency among prices, that variation would shrink.”
Gildemeister acknowledges hospitals need to generate sufficient revenue to survive, “but I think what the variation shows us is that hospitals are willing to accept different prices depending on who payers are, so somewhere in there is the price for an efficient service — and it’s not at the top end. ” Gildemeister says by some estimates, pricing failures contribute over 14 percent to waste or inefficiency in health care.
Officials say information in the report can help employers choose health care networks that have high quality care *plus* competitive prices. spending.