At the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C., the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released 2012's hospital pricing report for the 100 most common medical procedures. According to this report, most pricing increased by less than 5% compared to 2011.
Jason Millman of the Washington Post points out that there are massive price differences depending on location. "But in hospital pricing, location matters, hospitals' listed prices increased as much as $7,000 to $13,000 in the course of a year." An excellent example of this differential was in 2012 when a major joint replacement surgery in Baltimore cost Medicare $15,901 compared to $239,138 in Los Angeles.
The continued effort by CMS to create transparency while lowering costs is all under the umbrella of physicians providing quality care for patients around the U.S. For physicians, as long as everyone is brought to the table while this discussion continues, it is a positive for the entire healthcare system.