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That is a key takeaway from the Minnesota Department of Health’s latest examination of the cost of medical care. One patient might pay $12,326 for a spinal fusion surgery and another patient in the same hospital might have a bill for $80,518.

Prices for procedures also vary widely among different hospitals. The average cost of that spinal fusion surgery ranges from $26,803 at one facility to $58,770 at another.

Researchers used a state database of health care claims to examine the cost of four common and “clinically uncomplicated” procedures including spinal fusions, major bowel surgery, appendectomies and the removal of uterine fibroids. Patients with complex health issues that could drive up the cost of care were excluded from the analysis.

…continue reading ‘One patient paid $12,326 for a spinal fusion surgery, another $80,518 — at the same hospital’

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