www.WHEC.com

It's Your Money: Medical procedure costs vary

Posted at: 05/10/2013 5:13 PM
Updated at: 05/10/2013 5:49 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Did you know the cost for the same medical procedures vary from hospital to hospital, even if you're in the same city? The price difference can be in the thousands, but now you have access to those prices.

They're listed in a new report from the government that shows medical costs for more than 3,000 hospitals across the country.

For example, being treated for  a heart attack at a hospital in Brooklyn costs about $59,000.  Across the bridge in Manhattan, the average was about $38,000. But in Syracuse, it was only around $21,000.

So what are the price differences like in your area?
   
Healthcare experts say the new data is for everyone. The data is meant to force hospitals to make prices more uniform, so News10NBC wanted to know how it can help you.

When it comes to hospitals, healthcare experts say quality is usually the biggest concern. But according to new numbers released by the government, you should also be worried about the cost.

Here's what News10NBC found for hospitals in our area.

Using heart attacks, we found prices varied from $9,000 to $15,000 at Newark Wayne Community Hospital, F.F. Thompson Hospital and Rochester General. For a major joint replacement, it varied from $26,000 to $33,000.

These are prices that people without insurance would pay, but experts say even if you have insurance, you shoud look at this report.

Nancy Adams, Monroe County Medical Council, said, “You really want to be paying attention to cost. Quite frankly, even if you have insurance, you should be paying attention to cost.”

The reason? Nancy Adams from the Monroe County Medical Council says people with high deductibles may be affected.

Adams said, “People really need to understand what they are looking at. This isn't as simple as buying a gallon of milk at Wegmans or Tops and there's a price difference.”

Adams says everyone should use the new data as a resource. She calls it a step forward towards affordable and accountable healthcare.

Adams said, “I think it's a critical piece of information when we're making healthcare decisions. Patients have to have more information about the cost of their healthcare. There are some enhancements made to informed decision making. This is a piece of that. As we move forward with efficiencies and cost savings, those are the things that are going to keep insurance affordable for everyone.”

Strong Hospital and Unity Hospital were not listed in the report, but we did find that they have hotlines for you to call to check on prices.

Price Estimator Hotlines:
For Strong Hospital: 585-758-7801
For Unity Hospital: 585-368-6226

Data released from government:

http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/index.html
 
https://data.cms.gov/Medicare/Inpatient-Prospective-Payment-System-IPPS-Provider/97k6-zzx3

http://www.rochestergeneral.org/about-us/patient-pricing-information/