The Hill: Medicare charges vary by hospital, report finds

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A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report released Monday shows that Medicare charges for the same procedure in the same city can vary by tens of thousands of dollars.

CMS reviewed data on how much Medicare services cost at hospitals versus doctor’s offices and the difference in costs for non-Medicare patients and is making that information public. 

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the data release would help increase transparency about Medicare payments as the agency looks to keep costs down and improve care.“The release of these data sets furthers the administration’s efforts to increase transparency and support data-driven decision making which is essential for health care transformation,” said Sebelius in a statement.

The agency found wide discrepancies in how much services cost in different regions of the nation and within the same geographic area. In 2012 a major joint replacement surgery cost Medicare $15,901 in Baltimore while the same procedure cost $239,138 in Los Angeles, the report says.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/207888-cms-shares-data-on-hospital-medicare-charges#ixzz33saczgHV 

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