Hospital visits can cost an arm and a leg
If you’re headed to the hospital, make sure your checking account is full.Most trips are expensive emotionally, physically and financially. But, from the looks of the recently released 2004 Colorado Health and Hospital Association report, our two local hospitals are doing a good job of keeping the financial impact to a minimum when compared to the Denver-area hospitals.Using an appendectomy as an example, the cost at both Grand River Medical Center and Valley View Hospital was substantially lower than the $18,786 it costs in Denver. This is obviously good news for locals.The bad news is the report fails to give consumers an accurate picture when comparing costs. The discrepancy between the Garfield County hospitals and Denver is big enough to say that it’s probably cheaper locally. However, because hospitals all report costs in different ways, it’s tough to tell exactly – and in some cases even roughly – how much the actual costs differ.The goal of the CHHA’s report should be to provide a public service for consumers and, at the same time, give hospitals a benchmark for setting prices. It fails to do this.Hopefully, CHHA will make the report more useful in the near future, but until it does, potential patients may want to take the advice of Grand River CEO Pat Howery and do some price comparison the old-fashioned way. Do your homework and call or stop by the hospitals before being wheeled into the operating room.Hopefully, CHHA will make the report more useful in the near future, but until it does, potential patients may want to take the advice of Grand River CEO Pat Howery and do some price comparison the old-fashioned way. Do your homework and call or stop by the hospitals before being wheeled into the operating room.
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