Government releases data on hospital fees

Data includes 100 most common inpatient surgeries

INDIANAPOLIS - For the first time ever, the government released the prices all hospitals across the country charge for the 100 most common inpatient treatments. It then compared those prices to what Medicare actually paid those hospitals. 
         
The two most expensive Indianapolis-area hospitals are IU Health and Westview Hospital. The data showed they charge one to two times the national average.
         
At IU Health, for chest pain, the hospital billed Medicare on average $16,114. Medicare actually paid on average $4,869.
         
For major joint replacement surgery, IU Health billed on average $66,477 while Medicare paid $20,906.      
         
There was a huge difference for laparoscopic gallbladder surgery -- $39,018 billed versus $9,944 paid by Medicare. 
         
RTV6 reached out to IU Health for comment and they issued a statement which read, in part, “A hospital's list of prices, called the chargemaster, is individual to each hospital, as all hospitals are unique and the needs of communities vary." 

The statement went on to explain how the hospital comes up with the prices, such as the organization’s ability to treat complex cases, which they say requires highly trained medical personnel and sophisticated equipment.
         
Over at Westview Hospital, major joint replacement surgery was about $14,000 less than at IU Health. Westview billed Medicare on average more than $52,000, but Medicare still paid out much less at about $12,400.
         
For heart failure and shock treatment at Westview, the data showed the hospital charged about four times more than what Medicare paid on average.
         
And the data showed a staggering difference when it came to simple pneumonia and pleurisy. Westview charge almost six times as much on average than what Medicare paid.

RTV6 contacted Westview for their reaction, and they told RTV6 they need more time to look over the data before they will issue a response.

 

For more on the data, click here . http://go.cms.gov/16WaMfH

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