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Study Finds Wide Variation in Prices Consumers Pay For Hospital Services in North Dakota

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The Dickinson Press writes of figures compiled by a study of health care costs that found the charge for a natural baby delivery at North Dakota’s six largest hospitals can range from $4,343 to $15,056 — a difference of 347%.

The cost comparisons were part of an analysis of hospital costs in North Dakota presented to the North Dakota Legislature, which is studying health care costs compared to other states.

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread said patients lack access to information about prices to enable them to be smart consumers of health care. While hospital representatives contend that the charge figures cited in the study have little meaning — stating the charge billed through insurance companies which demand discounts that make the retail price largely irrelevant.

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