Study: 12 of the Most Expensive U.S. Hospitals Are Located in Calif.

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Twelve of the nation's 100 most expensive hospitals are located in California, according to a study by the Institute for Health & Socio-Economic Policy, Payers & Providers reports.

The institute is affiliated with National Nurses United.

Details of the Report

For the study, researchers used data from Medicare cost reports released by CMS (Payers & Providers, 1/9).

According to the report, the most expensive California hospital is Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles, which charges 1,034% more than its actual care costs. Olympia ranks 13th nationwide.

The other 11 California hospitals included in the report are:

  • Barstow Community Hospital, which charges 872% more than actual costs;
  • Centinela Hospital in Inglewood, which charges 773% more than its actual costs;
  • Community and Mission Hospital of Huntington Park, which charges 783% more than actual costs;
  • Doctors Hospital of Manteca, which charges 967% more than actual costs;
  • Doctors Medical Center of Modesto, which charges 957% more than actual costs;
  • Lodi Memorial Hospital, which charges 811% more than actual costs;
  • Los Alamitos Medical Center, which charges 782% more than actual costs;
  • Monterey Park Hospital, which charges 860% more than actual costs;
  • Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, which charges 809% more than actual costs;
  • Regional Medical Center of San Jose, which charges 804% more than actual costs; and
  • Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, which charges 813% more than actual costs (IHSP Report, 1/9).

Ten of the 12 California hospitals on the list are owned by for-profit companies or hospital chains (Payers & Providers, 1/9).

Peter Forni
Hospitals should charge reasonable prices based on actual costs and get reasonable profit. Can they actually determine real costs? Unfortunately, the current process has been bastardized for years. Why are different reimbursements provided depending on how an entity "negotiatiates" reimbursements with third parties? Controling costs has not been accomplished by hospital organzations or insurance companies because profit is the guiding motive for both and patients be damned! Hospitals are heavy at the top as far as salaries and unrealistic positioning so the guiding "ethics" is to get as much compensation and as many "toys" as possible. Front line workers are not very influential in this environment.
James Roache PharmD
"Charging" is one thing, "collecting" that charge is another. Governmental and other healthcare payers contracted to such health care entities, on only rare occasion these days, pay the actual amount "charged." The practice of billing a seemingly high "usual and customary" has been a pricing strategy developed back in the mid eighties prior to the DRG "reimbursement" program. Uninsured patients today will most likely be offered the best PPO rate with a payment plan when negotiating a hospital bill. If the author reported the charges as a percentage of costs for the ten lowest rated hospitals in California, one would most likely not see an appreciable difference. It would interesting to further look at the highest cost center in the hospital, i.e. salaries, and determine if there is a direct correlation between those that are unionized and those that are not.
Mark Miller
Not only does California have 10% of the US population, but I have also read that it cost 3 times as much just to build a hospital in California than in neighboring Arizona for example.
Frank Neuhauser
We shouldn't be surprised that 12 of the top 100 hospitals are in CA, about the same percentage of patients are in CA. Some hospitals may charge inappropriately high prices, but this isn't an especially CA phenomenon.

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