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Capitol Health Call
March 10, 2015

GAO Finds Variations in Private Insurer Payments for Costly Procedures

JAMA. 2015;313(10):1004. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.1538

The price of the initial hospital admission accounted for nearly all of the differences in private insurance spending for 3 high-cost hospital-based procedures across metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), according to a report released to the public January 28 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (http://1.usa.gov/1EZoJri).

The report, prepared for Rep Henry Waxman (D, Calif), the ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce who recently retired, compared spending for coronary stent placement, laparoscopic appendectomy, and total hip replacement. In its analysis, the GAO included all services from the day of admission to 30 days after discharge and certain services in the 3 days before admission.

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