Should We Care About Hospital Prices?

have been writing quite a bit about healthcare price transparency lately. And so have a lot of other people. Many of us have been pointing to insane variation in how much hospitals charge for their services. Walk across the street, and you might see the price of a routine healthcare service rise two or threefold.

But of course what hospitals say they charge for services, and what theyreceive for those services, are usually very different things. And these data, posted a while ago on the Washington Post website, perfectly illustrate that issue:

The column on the left represents a hospital in Miami which charges substantially more for its services than a neighboring hospital, only several blocks away. A near doubling of the cost of caring for a heart attack, for example. Just the kind of price disparity that makes people angry. And yet it’s the hospital on the right that receives more money, on average, for each of these services.

What is going on here? …(Read more and view comments at Forbes)


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