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Kaiser Health News examined the price lists — known in hospital lingo as “chargemasters” — of the largest acute care hospitals in several large cities.

Prices varied widely on some basic procedures, even for basic charges. For instance, the list price on a liter of basic saline solution for intravenous use ranged from $56 to $472.50, nearly seven times as much. A brain MRI with contrast was priced from $1,7210 to $8,800 at the hospitals. And they varied widely even when comparing nearby hospitals.

The new rule mandates that the chargemasters be available on the hospital website in a machine-readable format, but not all hospitals make them easy to find, and understanding them is a bigger obstacle.

…continue reading ‘Transparent Hospital Pricing Exposes Wild Fluctuation, Even Within Miles’

Image via Flickr Attribution Some rights reserved by dlofink

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