Sources: If you want to see a comparison of the prices for various medical procedures and treatment in southern Nevada the LVRJ has an article posted. The full report (Excel format) is here. The Washington Post also provides a link. Information regarding the Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital (Elko) is listed here in the CMS report. There are no listings shown for Lovelock, Battle Mountain, or Winnemucca. There are links for Renown (Reno) Carson Tahoe (Carson City) St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center (Reno).
Results: One of the more common items for comparison might be good old fashioned pneumonia, “194” in the parlance of the database. Treatment at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center will cost an average of $23,022. The same category at Renown costs $26,254.72. At Carson Tahoe Hospital the average charges are $26,827.44. Northern Nevada Medical Center average charges in the #194 category are $33,326.77. A #194 will cost an average of $29,775.81 in Elko.
Not a lot of this will make much difference to someone in an ambulance — it takes some time to figure that the ‘related links’ on the original page is where you want to go in order to use the search feature to find area hospitals — an unconscious patient won’t care if it takes forever to download and then view the full Excel version, but this really isn’t helpful for “medical expense planning purposes.”
Another point to remember is that these numbers are from CMS-Medicare which only deals with patients 65 and over, and other restricted categories. Thus, we’re dealing with costs associated with treatment for elderly or disabled patients.
The problem with health care costs — other than the fact that they’re entirely too high –is their opacity, a feature described in this handy Consumer Reports article. There’s more in the Business Day section of the New York Times as well.