A new study from Health Care Pricing Project found that the cost of medical care varies considerably from one city to another and in some cases even between hospitals located in the same area. The reason, specialists say, is that hospitals negotiate prices with insurance companies, therefore medical units located in monopoly markets have higher costs than those in areas with several providers. Differences can go up to 15 percent or thousands of dollars, the report indicates. For instance, for a single procedure, researchers found that prices were 12 times higher in New York City than they were in Baltimore.
About 60 percent of U.S. population has private health insurance, accounting for more than 17 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2014. The share is bigger than in any other large advanced nation, according to the study. Medicare, the national social insurance program, covers 16 percent of the U.S. population.
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