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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

Price for a New Hip

By April 14, 2014

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Well, according to a recent survey of hospitals throughout the United States, many don't know!

And those hospitals that could offer a price, offer from a range of just over $10,000, to well over $100,000.  So why the discrepancy?

Most hospitals are used to dealing with insurance companies and Medicare, not consumers.  Most hospitals don't think much about price competition for services.  Therefore, charges are often arbitrary, and don't make much sense.

In this survey, a caller asked for the price of a hip replacement.  She said on the phone that her grandmother needed a new hip, and was willing to pay out of pocket.  She just wanted to know how much?  Many hospitals couldn't provide an answer, and those that could provided quite a range.

The truth is, that there is little variation in what is done to perform a hip replacement.  Some hospitals may have more cost associated with their service, but the differences should be minimal.  But the differences in price were anything but minimal!

In order to control the cost of healthcare, there must be pressure to compete on price.  That pressure cannot impact the quality of care, but there has never been any evidence to show that a hospital that charges 10 times the amount for a hip replacement does a better job.

Over time, I would guess that this information becomes more widespread, and consumers will be asked to pay attention to the price of the service they are being offered.

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Source: Price for a New Hip? Many Hospitals Are Stumped

Comments
February 28, 2013 at 5:36 am
(1) jan Butler says:

I have just had a re vision of my 2nd total hip replacement which dislocated a year ago. i had the first 12 years ago at 57, this one 6 years ago. I was in the Australian public health system and was told 2 months to 2 years wait for the first one but only waited 3 months. My 2nd was always sloppy and I have since had breast cancer with all the treatment and, as I am a gardener, it dislocated as I was weeding! Last week I got a call from the hospital where it was done to see if I could make surgery in 2 days! So 1 week on they removed the ball and stem, put “plastic” piece between that and the existing socket and repositioned it . The stem is 2 cm longer, so does that mean I am 2 cm taller on the left side? This is all done as a public patient and, did not cost me a cent. I live in the lucky country! I am so grateful as I have psoriatic arthritis as did my mother , who had her 2nd at 80! my sister has just had her first. Their ops were done in NZ. Regards Jan Butler

January 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm
(2) Laurien says:

Dont know where in “the lucky country” you live, but in Melbourne I have waited 1 year already and there is a total of 3 years to wait. I don’t feel lucky. I have lost half my work because I cant walk (on crutches now for 6 months) and I have another 2 years of remaining kike this. I am worried that I will be addicted to the extremely strong pain killers (oxycodin) I have to take after 3 years. Just a total disgrace for a working mother of 3 at only 55 years of age. There is no priority system so it seems.

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