Charges for the same medical procedures can vary by thousands of dollars at hospitals across the country — and at the two cross-town rivals in the Roanoke Valley, according to data released Wednesday by the federal government.
At LewisGale Medical Center in Salem, the list price for nearly all of the treatments included in the data was higher than what was charged by Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
For example, the average cost for a joint replacement at LewisGale was $64,505, compared with $53,441 at Roanoke Memorial.
In fact, Roanoke Memorial was less expensive for all but two of 95 procedures included in the data.
Released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the figures were touted as the first opportunity for health care consumers to make a hospital-to-hospital comparison.
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To go directly to the data on prices, click here. A note: This is raw data, and lots of it — a listing of hundreds of hospitals, arranged in alphabetical order by state. To search for a particular hospital, enter its name in the search box in the upper right corner, where the words “find in this dataset” appear. That will take you to a list of up to 100 procedures performed at the hospital, which appear in the column labeled “DRG definition.” Scroll to the right to find the list price for the services, which is labeled “ average covered charge.” The next column to the right, labeled “average total payment” is what Medicare actually paid to the hospital.