The government revealed this week how much hospitals charge for services at medical facilities around the country. The list of prices varied greatly in some cases from hospital to hospital -- even those in the same community.
On Long Island, for example, the government found that the charges for heart attack treatment at Peconic Bay Medical Center were $23,604.68, whereas treatment for the same condition at Long Island Jewish Medical Center would cost $89,998.70.
Similarly, the charges for kidney and urinary tract infections are listed as $55,307.15 at North Shore University Hospital, compared to $26,640.85 at Nassau University Medical Center.
In a new database available on newsday.com, we take a look at the disparity in costs for treatment for the following four conditions (definitions are as according to the National Institutes of Health):
COPD: "A progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. 'Progressive' means the disease gets worse over time."
Heart Attack: "A heart attack occurs if the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked. If blood flow isn't restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die." Statistics provided are for when patients are discharged from a facility alive.
Kidney and Urinary Tract Infections: "A UTI is an infection in the urinary tract. Infections are caused by microbes—organisms too small to be seen without a microscope—including fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Kidney infections are UTIs that affect both kidneys."
Pulmonary embolism: "Pulmonary embolism, or PE, is a sudden blockage in a lung artery. The blockage usually is caused by a blood clot that travels to the lung from a vein in the leg."
Newsday's database compares pricing for the above conditions at hospitals located on Long Island. The full list from the government is available at: http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/index.html
What do you think about the difference in health care prices across Long Island? Check the database at newsday.com/hospitalcharges and let us know your thoughts in the comments, below.