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Long Island hospitals charge starkly different prices for the same procedure
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.
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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.