IFHP Study Reveals Price of Surgeries Are Most Disparate Medical Cost Around the Globe

Fri Mar 2, 2012 2:00pm EST

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IFHP Study Reveals Price of Surgeries Are Most Disparate Medical Cost Around the Globe

Report Provides Actual Prices of Common Medical Services, Procedures & Drugs Across 9 Countries

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Federation of Health Plans today released its 2011 Comparative Price Report detailing its annual survey of medical costs per unit. Designed to showcase the variation in healthcare costs around the world, the report examines the costs of medical procedures, tests, scans and treatments in nine countries.  The survey data showed that average United States prices for procedures were once again the highest of those surveyed for most of the 20 common services and procedures reviewed. 

For example, a hospital stay costs an average of $1,825 in Spain, $5,004 in Germany and an average of $15,734 in the U.S. An appendectomy ranges from an average of $1,030 in Argentina, to $5,509 in Chile, to an average of $13,003 in the U.S. The survey also found that the cost of a widely prescribed drug like Nexium can range from $69 in Switzerland to $193, the average cost in the U.S.

In addition to providing comparative cost data across the countries, the survey provides information about the wide range of costs being charged in the United States for common services, procedures and drugs. For example, the total cost of a newborn C-section delivery can range from $10,137 to $24,339 in the U.S. Five percent of American prices are higher than $24,399.

As found in the 2010 survey, the differential between unit prices was greatest for surgery. One of the highest differentials was for coronary artery bypass surgery. The range ran from $4,525 in India to an average of $67,583 in the United States.

IFHP will host a conference call and Webinar with Chief Executive Tom Sackville at 11 a.m. PST/ 2 p.m. EST today to discuss the findings. Details for joining the conference call and Webinar follow at the end of this news release.

"As in years past, the data from the 2011 report highlights significant medical costs disparities from country to country, but it is important to examine what is driving these pricing differences," said IFHP's Sackville.

The IFHP's survey covers current 2011 provider fees and drug costs in nine countries. Costs examined included those from Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, India, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. The data for the report was gathered from IFHP member organizations in each country.  

The IFHP was founded in 1968 by a group of health fund industry leaders, and is now the leading global network of the industry, with nearly 100 member companies across 30 countries. IFHP aims to assist in the maintenance of high ethical and professional standards throughout the industry. 

For a copy of the report and more information about IFHP, please visit www.ifhp.com.

Following are details for the conference call and Webinar to discuss the report findings:

WHO:           Tom Sackville, CEO of IFHP
WHEN:         Friday, March 2
                   11 a.m. PST/ 2 p.m. EST
WHERE:       Remarks and Q&A session via conference call at 
                    (866) 901-4714 (U.S. and Canadian callers)
                    (702) 599-4277 (callers outside United States and Canada)
                    Conference ID: 58324495

See the presentation online at:  https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/edelman/join?id=SSZT69&role=attend&pw=Z%23f43%2F9

Meeting ID: SSZT69
Entry Code: Z#f43/9

First Time Users:
To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

Unable to join the meeting? Follow these steps:

       1.   Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:
       2.   Copy and paste the required information:
             Meeting ID: SSZT69
             Entry Code: Z#f43/9
             Location: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/edelman

SOURCE International Federation of Health Plans

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