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. The difference may largely reflect higher administrative overhead in the U.S. healthcare system, with its multiple payers, than in the single-payer Canadian system, said Mark Eisenberg, a physician at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal who helped lead the study. Defensive medicine and higher across-the-board costs in general also may be factors, Eisenberg said, adding that gauze pads cost twice as much in the U.S. as in Canada. The researchers compared outcomes and treatment costs for 4,698 bypass patients at five U.S. hospitals and 7,319 bypass patients at four Canadian hospitals. Read the abstract. -- by Andis Robeznieks
Heart bypass twice as costly in U.S. as in Canada: study
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