Study: Hospitals Overpay for Devices
BY CHRISTOPHER WEAVER, The Wall Street Journal
Some hospitals pay thousands of dollars more than others for big-ticket medical devices such as defibrillators and hip replacements, and a portion of the higher costs could be passed on to the federal Medicare program, a new government report says.
Among 31 hospitals surveyed by investigators for the Government Accountability Office, one paid $8,723 more than another for an identical model of a device that regulates heart rhythm. The device, called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, typically costs the hospitals between $16,445 and $19,007.
In another finding, prices paid for the same drug-eluting stents, used to prop open diseased blood vessels,...