The release of new healthcare price data by the HHS and CMS will prove to be very helpful for South Florida healthcare consumers and payers, as Florida currently fails to implicate any regulations over statewide healthcare transparency. While the state-mandated website managed by the Agency for Health Care Administration, floridahealthfinder.gov, provides a brief price range for a limited number of medical procedures, the data retrieved from CMS’s analysis of charges and payments for common inpatient procedures covered by Medicare will finally shed some light on price-comparisons between hospitals in the same geographic region.
Coupled with data on physician payments, the data released is the most detailed in Medicare’s 50-year history. As more and more consumers take on a larger share of their healthcare expenses – either due to more high-deductible plans, coinsurance rates and out-of-pocket costs, price transparency becomes a powerful bargaining tool. The HHS hopes the increase transparency efforts give consumers the resources to become smarter shoppers when paying for medical procedures.
A Look at South Florida Hospital Price Data
For Floridians, that's pretty important – especially considering the fact that healthcare prices wildly vary throughout the state. For example, amongst South Florida hospitals, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center charged the highest fee for a major hip or knee replacement procedure - $205,442 USD. In fact, the price for that particular procedure across South Florida increased by an average of more than $9,000 USD or 8%.
With procedures so sporadically priced throughout the area, it’s no surprise that a few miles north of Aventura, at the Broward Health & Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale, a hip replacement only costs $78,685 USD. Considering the national average cost for such a procedure is $84,798 USD or 6% higher, that’s not a bad price. What is more concerning is that the difference between the two South Florida hospitals' pricing would've remained unknown had the data not been released.
While the prices released only reflect the costs of the procedures alone, and do not factor in additional fees like hospital room and board, it is still a major step towards continuing the price transparency “revolution” that must accompany America’s healthcare reform.
PayerFusion believes these price transparency efforts could also benefit from being coupled with further data on cost-containment savings and insurance reimbursement amounts for common procedures. To learn more about PayerFusion’s cost-containment services and savings, click here.
You can also download the data released by the HHS and CMS here.