Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Explanation of Washington Post Health Care Cost Graphs

The Washington Post has come out with a post in Ezra Klein's blog titled 21 graphs that show America’s health-care prices are ludicrous.  Two of them are posted here showing how the average prices of angiograms and angioplasties are double those of the next highest country.  For example an angiogram costs an average $914 in the US while costing  an average $378 in the next most expensive country, Chile.  The graph also shows the range of costs in the US with the 25 percentile cost being $173 (between Spain and Switzerland, possibly at the Veteran's Administration) and the 95th percentile being $2,430.

Likewise the average cost of an angioplasty in the US is $28,182 while it is $14,366 in the next most expensive country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain.  At the 25th percentile in the US the cost is $16,533 which is close to Great Britain.  The upper end of the scale cost (95th percentile) is $61,649.  This is four times the cost of Great Britain.

There is a similar pattern in the other 19 graphs that are presented in the article.  The range in costs suggests that price gouging does not occur everywhere in the US system.  Stephen Brill has a good expose in Time Magazine on why medical bills are so high.  

**Related Posts**

New Time Magazine Article on Healthcare Costs with Stewart Discussion

Real Reasons for High Medical Costs

Those Rapacious Health Insurers Raise Premiums 9% This Year for Job Based Health Insurance

WaPo Interactive International Cost Graphic