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Study: Bundled price for hip replacement not readily available

February 11, 2013

The "bundled price" for a total hip replacement, including hospital and physician fees, may be difficult for consumers to find and varies widely, according to a study published online today by JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers contacted two randomly selected hospitals from each state and the District of Columbia, and the 2011-2012 U.S. News and World Report top-ranked 20 orthopedic hospitals to obtain pricing information for the procedure. About 16% of those hospitals were able to provide a complete bundled price, though an additional 47% of hospitals could provide a complete price when hospitals and health care providers were contacted separately, the authors note. The study also found that price estimates varied nearly 10-fold across the hospitals. In a statement, AHA said it believes that consumers deserve helpful information about the price of their hospital care, noting that more than 40 states already require or encourage hospitals to report such information to the public. "Sharing meaningful information, however, is challenging because hospital care is unique and based on each individual patient's needs," AHA said.