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Well it's still secretive trip to the doctor's office will cost GO.
But the same exact procedure could wind up double the cost depending on where you go and -- and -- march.
Why is that well hospitals are buying up private practices leaving you your insurer or even Medicare picking up the extra tab.
For more on this -- revolver the DC director of for consumer's watchdog consumer watchdogs pardon me joins me now.
-- thanks for coming on the show tonight appreciate your time so why is there such a huge price gap.
Well what we have here is -- case of hospitals throwing their weight around.
This Wall Street Journal story exposed a phenomenon that's becoming more and more common across the country.
Individual independent physicians practices are being bought out by larger hospital groups.
And those hospital groups are throwing their weight around in the market pressuring insurance companies to pay more for the same exact procedures that doctors' offices were providing for last.
Well let's take a look at some of that and and -- the difference in location cost and let's start with the full screen the talks about specific.
Specific things like the diagnostic -- colonoscopy.
There's a 118%.
Difference in cost electrocardiogram.
Cardiac nuclear in imaging looking at your heart 49%.
I think it goes on or not it's interesting these costs so different and yet -- the procedures different at all.
-- in many cases the procedures are -- for the same procedure and in fact.
In many cases for the same procedure performed by the same physician or technician in the same facility.
What we see here is simply a difference in the code.
A hospital puts on your bill vs a doctor puts on your bill.
There's a clear problem here when we see a vast price difference like you said a 100% 200%.
For the same exact procedure hospitals are simply pushing insurance companies around -- say they're to blame what are they saying in their defense.
Well hospitals -- tell you that they have higher costs.
They'll tell you that they're paying for more things than simply the procedure.
But I think when you have these examples where you have those same procedure in the same place that's clearly not the only problem.
I say that hospitals are definitely to blame because they're trying to.
Pressure insurance companies to except higher fees at the same time insurance companies are entirely blameless here.
When they're faced with a hospital that demands a higher price.
Often don't have a lot of financial incentive to press back against that insurance but against that hospitals so.
We have a dual system here where consumers lose when hospitals pressure insurance companies to pay more an insurance companies -- are great financial institute.
Incentive to pressure them to pay laugh because they just pass on that cost of the consumer.
Well and as you go I'm gonna read this quote from health affairs they wrote we found essentially no correlation between average cost.
And the measure the level of care quality across markets so high cost is not necessarily equal better quality Carmen -- our thanks for coming on the show tonight.
-- -- thanks for having me.
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