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Cost Variation: Why does the same medical procedure vary in cost?

In this day and age many consumers are concerned about finances, and no one wants to pay more than they have to. When it comes to health care procedures, they can get expensive fast. Did you know that prices of the same procedure vary from location to location, but the quality of service isn’t necessarily a factor? This is called cost variation.

Between twenty seven NH hospitals in the New Hampshire Hospital Scorecard, there can be up to 70% difference in the cost of one procedure at different locations. Healthy UNH’s website about Cost Variation, it looks at an MRI procedure at four area hospitals. With Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), the cost of the MRI can vary from $1,353 to $2,545, just between the four locations. That’s over one thousand dollars that one could save by going to a different hospital under the same insurance program.

It’s important to be aware of cost variation in health procedures and do your research before receiving a procedure. Everyone could save a few dollars, especially if the care itself isn’t a factor when comparing medical locations. The New Hampshire Hospital Scorecard is an easy method to compare costs of procedures, health insurance plans, and medical locations throughout the state. The idea is to provide the consumer with the appropriate knowledge to make financially smart decisions and find the best deal based on their current insurance plan.

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