Surgery study finds costs vary greatly by region
The Denver Post
The combined cost of two common surgeries — knee and hip replacement — is twice as high in northeast Colorado as in Denver and Colorado Springs, according to a new study that puts numbers to the state’s rural health cost problem.
The Center for Improving Value in Health Care used data supplied by health insurance providers on the two procedures and found stunning variations by region of the state.
The price of the surgeries averages $78,000 for insured people in an eight-county northeast region that stretches from Larimer and Weld counties to the Kansas border, the center reported. The mountain region, which consists of 15 counties bisecting the middle of the state, had the second highest cost at $69,000.
By contrast, the cost averaged $39,000 in a nine-county Denver region and $41,000 in a three-county area that includes Colorado Springs. Still, the results were not crystal clear. Costs in southeast Colorado, also rural, were not nearly as high as the northeast.
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