A new study by Blue Cross Blue Shield echoes research in the workers’ comp arena, and finds huge disparities in charges for hip and knee surgeries depending on region, state and city. It examined claims in 64 healthcare markets over three years and found the biggest price swings for hip surgery in Massachusetts, where the same type of care varied by more than 313 percent, from a low of $17,910 to a high of $73,987. The biggest gaps in total knee replacement surgery appeared in Dallas, Texas, where prices varied 267 percent from $16,772 to $61,584, according to researchers. The study, which looked at claims for more than 53,000 procedures from 2010 to 2013, underscores the inconsistencies in medical pricing at a time when employers are increasingly shifting healthcare costs to workers through high-deductible insurance plans.
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