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.
International Federation of Health Plans