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Thirty Cities Where the Price of a New Hip Can Double Across Town

(Bloomberg) In Dallas, a 15-mile trip can save a patient $12,000 on joint replacement surgery. Coloradans who come down from the mountains for treatment in Denver can save $19,000. And in Maryland, a 9-mile drive from Baltimore to the suburbs can save $36,000.
Hospitals sometimes just a few miles apart get paid wildly different prices for hip or knee replacements in much of the U.S., according to an analysis of Medicare data. The public health insurance program for Americans over 65 spends $7 billion on more than 400,000 joint replacements each year.
A study of Medicare’s hospital data shows 30 cities where the agency’s average payment for uncomplicated joint replacements at the most expensive hospital is at least twice as much as it is at the cheapest.
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