MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Some hospitals paid thousands more than others for the same implantable medical devices, costs that might be passed on to federal Medicare programs, according to a new government report.
A lack of transparency in pricing may be preventing health care providers from making the best decisions regarding the technologies they purchase, sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in differences paid for the same device, according to the report, published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
For example, a single model of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which usually costs between about $16,500 and $19,000, cost 1 hospital almost $9,000 more than the other, the report found.
"The lack of price transparency and the substantial variation in amounts hospitals pay for some IMDs raise questions about whether hospitals are achieving the best prices possible," according to the GAO report. "Any excess or unnecessary costs that hospitals incur through IMD pricing may be passed onto the Medicare program."
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