Health / Pharma

Big data healthcare: Information shows substantial difference in procedure charges at various hospitals

New York State has pulled back the curtain on hospital charges. A new database shows what each hospital across the state charges for 1,400 different procedures.

The differences can be dramatic: At Bellevue Hospital, the median charge for an uncomplicated birth is $6,330, and at NYU Langone Medical Center next door, the median charge is $12,222. Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, typically charges $5,686 and Maimonides Medical Center, a dozen miles away, $14,763.

Patterns can be difficult to discern, and can vary from procedure to procedure. Overall, academic medical centers are more costly because of the additional staff needed for medical training, the greater use of technology, and the severity and complexity of patients. But those factors do not account for why at Westchester Medical Center, the median charge for a vaginal delivery is $22,143, and at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, it is $11,900.

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