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Medical procedure cost differences hurts consumers

Posted On Mon, March 5, 2012

Thomson Reuters recently noted in a report that $36 billion in healthcare expenses are lost by consumers each year due to varying costs of procedures.

The report said that some prices for procedures can be significantly different from place to place. There can be as much as two or three times difference in pricing. However, if the medical industry lowered medical costs to median prices for the most frequent 300 procedures, it would save 3.5 percent - or $36 billion - each year.

"In real world terms, this data tells us that an individual consumer going in for a surgical evaluation of a knee joint with a standard high-deductible insurance plan can expect to save between $200 and $500 by going to a provider who offers the service at or below median price," said Bobbi Coluni, senior director of Thomson Reuters and author of the paper.

Those consumers who are concerned about paying too much for their medical procedures out of pocket may benefit from finding a less expensive plan. There are many low health insurance rates that could ease a person's mind about their spending output.

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