Kaiser Health News: Medical Prices Higher In Areas Where Large Doctor Groups Dominate, Study Finds
KHN consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "Prices for many common medical procedures are higher in areas where physicians are concentrated into larger practice groups, according to a new study. The October Health Affairs study examined the average county prices paid by preferred provider insurance organizations in 2010. It focused on 15 high-volume, high-cost medical procedures across a variety of specialties, including vasectomy, laparoscopic appendectomy, colonoscopy with lesion removal, nasal septum repair, cataract removal and knee replacement. The prices studied reflected the negotiated prices between the PPOs and the physician groups, including payments made by both the plan and the patient. The average price ranged from $2,301 for a total knee replacement to $576 for a vasectomy."