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Facility Costs, Not Professional Fees, Account for Widely Varying Prices, According to Change Healthcare's Q1 Healthcare Transparency Index
Date:8/5/2014

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Change Healthcare's latest quarterly Healthcare Transparency Index (HCTI) revealed that the widest variation in costs for selected inpatient procedures and imaging services is found among the facilities where the procedure or service is performed – not among the professionals who performed them.

"We often hear that doctors' fees are to blame for escalating healthcare costs," said Doug Ghertner, president and CEO of Change Healthcare, the market leader in consumer engagement and cost transparency. "In truth, it's the facilities that exhibit the most significant variance in costs – often varying by hundreds or even thousands of percentage points."

The Q1 2014 HCTI identified knee and hip replacements to be the procedures that vary most based on facility, with prices ranging by 1,687 percent and 1,132 percent respectively. Other procedures showing substantial price discrepancies at the facility level included CT scans (469 percent), ultrasounds (350 percent) and vaginal deliveries (319 percent).

"Patients can save an enormous amount of money by asking their doctor, in advance, at which local hospital or surgery center he or she has privileges to perform a surgery or deliver a baby – and then shopping around," Ghertner said.  "As an example, for imaging services, an independent clinic or outpatient imaging facility often delivers the best value."  

The HCTI report is part of an ongoing effort by Change Healthcare to keep a pulse on the cost and cost variability of various medical and dental services, and to identify the greatest opportunities for savings for consumers and plan providers.

To uncover savings opportunities, Change Healthcare's HCTI includes a Transparency MatrixTM, which identifies services that are both high cost and highly variable in price. Examining data from the first q
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SOURCE Change Healthcare
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