It’s cheaper up North

From Modern Healthcare’ Daily Dose:

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery costs about twice as much, on average, in a U.S. hospital than in a Canadian hospital, $20,673 vs. $10,373, with no difference in clinical outcomes, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Adjusting for clinical and demographic differences, the U.S. cost was 74.8% higher than the cost in Canada.

Here’s the abstract.

The authors attribute the differences to higher administrative overheads, defensive medicine, and higher overall costs in the US.

Here’s a simpler explanation: When resources are seen as scarce, people find a way to reduce costs. In Canada, there is an emphasis on keeping costs down to stay within the global health care budget.

July 11, 2005

2 thoughts on “It’s cheaper up North”

  1. “When resources are seen as scarce, people find a way to reduce costs”

    Don’t forget the other side of the coin. Where there is an abundance of medical goods and services, and where there is a disconnection between the consumer (patient) and the price he is paying for the goods and services, the demand tends to increase.

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