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Research Reveals Big Price Differences Across Minnesota Hospitals

The Minnesota Department of Health collaborated with Minnesota employers to design a series of brief reports on hospital prices in Minnesota. Chris Frenier, M.S., Stefan Gildemeister, M.A., and Pamela Mink, Ph.D., M.P.H. examined variation in the commercial case prices for four common, clinically uncomplicated inpatient procedures. They used claims data from the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database to calculate the total price, including facility and professional fees, of 2,719 hospitalizations during 2014 and 2015. Prices reflect allowed amounts – the actual payments made by patients and insurers to health care providers. The report – Commercial Case Price Variation among High-Volume Inpatient Treatments in Minnesota Hospitals (Part 2) JULY 2014 – JUNE 2015 – provides information to employers and purchasers about the degree of price variation across and within Minnesota hospitals.

This report examines variation in the case prices for four common, clinically uncomplicated inpatient surgeries – major bowel procedures; appendectomy; spinal fusion surgery; removal of uterine fibroid. The prices reported here reflect allowed amounts – the actual payments made by patients and insurers to health care providers — and include the facility and professional fees incurred during each admission.

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