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A former Western Michigan University student has been charged with making threats last year about a campus shooting. get more >>
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - New federal data show that some hospitals across the country are charging patients more money for the same procedure.
The Federal Department of Health and Human Services released data Friday showing the prices of the 100 most common procedures done in hospitals across the country.
What's surprising is the numbers were staggering. It showed that hospitals are billing medicare very differently for the same procedures.
A hip and femur procedure with major complications would cost you $55,000 at McLaran Hospital versus $77,000 at Sparrow.
According to Jim Lee, who works with data policy at Michigan Health and Hospitals, the price fluctuation has to do with a number of factors.
"How sick a patient is obviously impacts the amount of care that's being provided the payer mix, depending if there's predominately medicare or medicaid that is being provided by that hospital," said Lee.
He says that pricing has nothing to do with quality of care and just because you pay more for a procedure, doesn't mean it's any better than the same procedure that's cheaper at another hospital.
"We encourage our patients to look at all different factors. Obviously the cost of the care is one issue they need to look at. The quality of care that's being provided," said Lee.
Although national numbers were just released, this information for Michigan hospitals has been free and available online since 2008.
"Having this discussion about pricing and charges I think enhances the value of providing information to consumers and allowing them to make the right decision," said Lee.
The Center for Medicare and Medicade Service showed that Michigan ranks as the 41st lowest among the 50 states in average hospital charges.