DW recently had to have a couple of cat scans and we had a chance to compare the costs and were flabbergasted at what we found.
Quoted price at one hospital (by the way, a terrible place) was list price for the two scans of $8246, with a negotiated rate on our insurance plan of $5125 - leaving us to pay 20% of that negotiated rate.
The second hospital, a much higher quality place, friendly competent staff, and a much better experience had a negotiated rate of $1735 - forgot to ask what the original list price was for them - leaving us to pay 20 % of that rate on our insurance plan.
We compared billing codes and they were exactly the same. The insurance plan used was exactly the same. The two occurrences were 3 weeks apart.
The hospitals were 5 miles from each other.
How can there be this much of disparity between the two hospitals, both on the insurance company's plan. Doesn't the insurance company negotiator talk to the one doing the other hospital? Is there some corruption or payment system like the car dealers have with the manufacturers, where a dealer invoice cost is not really what the dealer pays, and I just seeing this in the procedure rates from different hospitals?
In the business world, this kind of thing would get around, and the lousy hospital with the higher rate would either lose customers, or have the info blasted on the business page for all to see. Not so with the medical system. Not taking shots at the folks on this board, just wanting to know how these hospitals and insurance companies are getting away with this.