Reporting Anna Duckworth
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new report by the CALPIRG Education Fund has found a dramatic difference in the prices charged throughout the state for common surgeries, with the six most expensive regions in the Bay Area.
The report looks at the costs in California for surgeries such as c-sections, knee replacements and angioplasty.
CALPIRG Education Fund fellow Daniela Uribe said the report found that patients can be charged as much as 250 percent more for the exact same procedure depending on the hospital.
KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:
“For example, San Jose-area hospitals charged $144,900 for angioplasty, while Bakersfield’s hospitals charged $44,400,” she said.
Uribe said San Jose and Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties were found to be the highest charging regions in the state; Fresno and Orange County were found to charge the least.
The report found that the disparities don’t appear to reflect the quality of care, patient income or patient health status.
“What the research does suggest is that it could have more to do with which hospitals have more leverage on market power, particularly with the insurance industry,” said Uribe.
The report also found that surgery charges were 2.7 times more expensive in the highest cost region vs. the lowest cost region.
It also included several recommendations for controlling health care costs in the state.
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