Comparison of procedure costs at various Ala. hospitals - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Comparison of procedure costs at various Ala. hospitals

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

Today we got our first-ever comprehensive look at what hospitals around the country charge for different procedures, and the newly-released data shows some big gaps in what different hospitals in our area charge for the same procedure.

Hospitals protect this cost information like KFC protects its recipe, but as part of the healthcare overhaul, the government today released thousands of pages of documents showing what hospitals charge Medicare and Medicaid for different procedures.

Before we show you the data, there are a couple of important things to remember.

These costs are what the hospitals charge the government, not what they charge healthcare insurance companies who often negotiate deep discounts as part of their contracts.

And as you'll see, there is a big difference between what a hospital charges and what the government ends up actually paying.

But if you come into a hospital without insurance, the first bill you get will probably look much like the charges we're about to show you.

We took a random sampling of some common procedures done at all of the Birmingham metro-area hospitals and DCH in Tuscaloosa and found some big differences in costs.

Respiratory system diagnosis w/ ventilator for less than 96 hours

Avg. covered charges (sticker price of procedure)

Shelby Baptist: $70,795

Trinity: $233,131

Brookwood: $459,985

Avg. total payment (what the government actually pays)

Shelby Baptist: $12,565

Trinity: $30,966

Brookwood: $39,019


Pacemaker implant without major complications

Avg. charges

Shelby Baptist: $65,642

St. Vincent: $26,786

DCH: $48,383

Avg. total payment

Shelby Baptist: $11,565

St. Vincent: $10,409

DCH: $12,418


Chest Pain

Avg charges

St. Vincent: $10,958

Trinity: $28,751

Brookwood: $33, 437

Avg payment

St Vincents: $2,836

Trinity: $4,171

Brookwood: $2,827


Major Joint Replacement without major complications

Avg charges

Baptist Princeton: $72,131

UAB: $52,963

Trinity: $89,408

Avg. payment

Baptist Princeton: $12,503

UAB: $15,242

Trinity: $11,943

To search the cost data for your area, follow this link, then download the Excel spreadsheet at the bottom of the page:

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