New Figures Show Medical Costs In Montana - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

New Figures Show Medical Costs In Montana

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BILLINGS -

Figures released for the first time by the Federal Government is revealing a bit of information about some of the most common hospital procedures across the country.

The data came from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and covered more than 3,000 hospitals nation-wide. The data revealed some high costs for medical case, including one hospital in Washington, D.C. that charged patients on a ventilator $115,000.

Patient advocates said the data points to out of control healthcare costs.

Some hospitals in Montana were also included in the report, showing costs on a variety of healthcare options, as well as disparities. For kidney failures, Bozeman Deaconess, according to the report, offered the cheapest care, at $11,014, while Benefis Health System in Great Falls, according to the report, cost the most, at $17,061.

Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings offered the same kind of treatment for relatively the same cost, according to the report.

Scott Rickard with MSU-Billings' Center for Applied Economic Research said in general, medical care is more labor intensive and resistant to automation, compared to other industries. That, he said, is one of the factors behind higher costs. He said consumers should look at these figures carefully.

"One thing that's fairly clear is that we are going to be both empowered and required to make more of these decisions as to what medical procedures we will consume and pay for, and which ones we will hold off and wait on." said Rickard.