Hip implant costs are a medical mystery, study says | MassDevice.com On Call

February 13, 2013 by MassDevice staff

A Washington University study on healthcare costs found that even hospitals have trouble figuring out how much a hip replacement costs.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — A Washington University project intended to uncover the cost of hip replacement procedures made the unindented discovery that around half of the hospitals could provide no estimates.

Among the more than 100 hospitals contacted by the researcher, those that could provide figures ranged from around $11,000 to more than $125,000.

Sign up to get our free newsletters delivered straight to your inbox

Researcher Jamie Rosenthal, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis, called hospitals from every state to ask for the cost of of a hip replacement.

"Transparency is all the rage these days in government and business, but there has been little push for pricing transparency in health care, and there's virtually no information," study co-author Dr. Peter Cram told the New York Times. "I can get the price for a car, for a can of oil, for a gallon of milk. But health care? That's not so easy."

The results were published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., the Times reported.

 IBM's Watson supercomputer partners with New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering
IBM's Watson supercomputer, made famous by a tour on Jeopardy about 2 years ago, put some time at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York City to develop a video demo of Watson in action as a voice-enabled medical assistant.
Read more