Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) released a report yesterday, “A Study of Cost Variations for Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries in the U.S.” The report analyzed three years of independent BCBS companies’ hospital claims data (not specifically physician costs) for typical knee and hip replacement surgeries in 64 markets across the country. According to the report, “some hospitals charge tens of thousands of dollars more than others for the same medical procedures, even within the same metropolitan market.” The report found that costs can vary by as much as 313 percent, depending on where the surgeries are performed. The report notes that it is highlighting typical knee and hip replacement procedures because they are among the fastest growing medical treatments in the U.S. Full report.

This chart illustrates the top five highest and lowest average cost markets and variance cost markets for these procedures:

chart

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