Design: We randomly selected 2 hospitals from each state (plus Washington, DC) that perform THA, as well as the 20 top-ranked orthopedic hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report rankings. We contacted each hospital by telephone between May 2011 and July 2012. Using a standardized script, we requested from each hospital the lowest complete “bundled price” (hospital plus physician fees) for an elective THA that was required by one of the author’s 62-year-old grandmother.
Results: Nine top-ranked hospitals (45%) and 10 non-top-ranked hospitals (10%) were able to provide a complete bundled price (P < .001). We were able to obtain a complete price estimate from an additional 3 top-ranked hospitals (15%) and 54 non–top-ranked hospitals (53%) (P = .002) by contacting the hospital and physician separately. The range of complete prices was wide for both top-ranked ($12,500 -$105,000) and non-top-ranked hospitals ($11,100 – $125,798).
This is from JAMA Internal Medicine.