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Vast differences in costs in one market

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Even in the same geographical area,  hospital prices for routine knee- and hip-replacement surgeries vary vastly.

For instance, show that hip-replacement costs in the  Los Angeles-Long Beach market,  ranged from $17,260 to $46,448, say claims data from the Blue Cross  and Blue Shield Association.

How much will patients react to this long-suppressed information? Will many still favor the sexier academic hospital systems over the cheaper nonteaching hospitals now that new high-deductible plans give insured patients more financial skin in the game?


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