The average cost of treatment at one metro-east hospital has been found to be two or three times higher than other area hospitals for the same care.
Medicare figures released by the federal government Wednesday revealed that hospitals within the same city sometimes charge tens of thousands of dollars more for the same treatment. The prices in the report reflect the fees charged to uninsured patients and those who pay out of pocket. Rates paid by private insurers and public health plans are typically much lower.
In Granite City, Gateway Regional Medical Center charged $28,623 --about twice as much as other metro-east area hospitals for chest pain treatment during the 2011 fiscal year.
By comparison, Memorial Hospital in Belleville charged $15,164, St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville charged $14,242 and Anderson Hospital in Maryville charged $13,532, respectively, for the same treatment during that same time.
Also during fiscal year 2011, hospitalization for pneumonia and pleurisy cost Gateway Regional Medical Center patients $59,322 -- more than three times what it cost at Memorial, St. Elizabeth's and Anderson.
Treatment for cardiac arrhythmia and conduction disorders cost $30,876 at the Granite City hospital --twice as much as the price charged to patients at Memorial and almost three times as much charged to patients at St. Elizabeth's and Anderson during the 2011 fiscal year.
During that time, patients with kidney and urinary tract infections were treated to the tune of $36,020 at Gateway Regional Medical Center. That was more than twice the amount charged to patients at the hospitals in Belleville and Maryville.
Officials from Gateway Regional Medical Center could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The list includes the average charges at 3,300 hospitals for each of the 100 most common Medicare inpatient services. The prices, from 2011, represent about 60 percent of Medicare inpatient cases.