Report Shows Huge Billing Disparities Among Hospitals for Medicare Services

For the first time, the federal government has publicly announced
what hospitals bill Medicare for the 100 most common diagnoses and treatments.
The information shows hospitals across the country — and across Alaska — bill
dramatically different prices for the same things. Hospital veteran Rick Davis,
the CEO of Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna, was eager to review
the on hospital charges as soon as it was out. "It's going to create
ripples across the nation, really, on pricing," he says. "It does
show some pretty big disparities between hospitals." For example, Alaska
Regional in Anchorage charges Medicare $46,252 for a patient with heart failure
and a major complication. Alaska Native Medical Center, also in Anchorage,
charges $20,839. In both cases, Medicare doesn't pay anywhere close to the full
charge. The government reimburses Regional $13,950 and Alaska Native, $12,935.
Private insurance usually pays more than Medicare, but negotiates the amount.

Source/more: NPR

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