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Two halves of California have wide gap in health costs

September 27, 2015

Earlier this year, in a Blue Cross Blue Shield survey of 86 of the country’s biggest metropolitan markets, the median U.S. cost of an angioplasty was pegged at $27,144 but varied widely – from as little as $15,494 in Birmingham, Ala., to as much as $61,231 in Sacramento. Eric Risberg The Associated Press

Earlier this year, in a Blue Cross Blue Shield survey of 86 of the country’s biggest metropolitan markets, the median U.S. cost of an angioplasty was pegged at $27,144 but varied widely – from as little as $15,494 in Birmingham, Ala., to as much as $61,231 in Sacramento. Eric Risberg The Associated Press

By Claudia Buck

When it comes to health care costs, it’s clear: Where you live matters. And in California, the gap is especially sharp between the north and south.

Take, for instance, common procedures like a cesarean section or a total knee replacement. The total average price tag for a typical C-section in the four-county Sacramento area is $28,828; in east Los Angeles County, it’s $17,567, according to a health care comparison tool unveiled last week by state officials and Consumer Reports magazine.

And that knee replacement? It’s about $42,488 in the Sacramento Valley but drops to $27,276 in east Los Angeles County.

“Northern California shoppers are in for some unhappiness and some surprise,” said Dr. R. Adams Dudley, director of the UC San Francisco Center for Healthcare Value and a professor of medicine and health policy. “They live in an expensive part of the state, health-care-wise.”

While the geographic divide has been noted for several years, there’s been more transparency about health care costs in recent months, here and nationwide.

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[Source]: Sacramento bee

Last modified: May 30, 2017

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