Officials Launch Hospital Price Comparison Tool for California Facilities
On Thursday, the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development rolled out a Web site that lets patients compare hospitals' average prices for 28 common elective, inpatient procedures, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/22).
The tool details what the average person without health insurance would have paid for the procedures. Medicare, Medi-Cal and private health plans negotiate lower prices with hospitals.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Perkes, Orange County Register, 5/22).
The tool uses 2007 data, but will be updated with 2008 data in the next few weeks (Clark, HealthLeaders Media, 5/21).
The database also includes the:
- Total number of procedures performed at a facility;
- Charges per day; and
- Average length of stay for a procedure (Matheny, Palm Springs Desert Sun, 5/21).
Kaiser ExceptionThe tool does not include pricing data from Kaiser hospitals because of Kaiser Permanente's HMO structure (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/22).Â The tool does include information about the number of procedures and average length of stay for Kaiser hospitals (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/21). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.