As reported in a Neurology Today article,
“Why Hospital Prices Vary: What Neurologists Should Know,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released in May a list of the average 2011 charges for the 100 most common Medicare inpatient services at more than 3,300 hospitals. Among the data, for example, one hospital in Philadelphia charged $234,913 to treat an inpatient suffering intracranial hemorrhage with major complications while another hospital in Pittsburgh charged $9,539. Shortly thereafter, CMS released data on what those hospitals charged for 30 common outpatient services — reflecting similar disparities in charges. In a video interview, Neurology Today Editor-in-Chief Steven P. Ringel, MD, and Associate Editor Robert Holloway, MD, discuss the disparities, why neurologists need to pay attention to the “Choosing Wisely” campaign, and what they can tell their patients about the variable charges — for example, higher charges should not be equated with better outcomes for care.