The state of Oregon has launched a Web site where consumers can find out the average hospital payments for 82 common medical procedures and conditions.
The Compare Hospital Costs site, which launched last week, shows what the nine largest private health insurance carriers paid statewide for these treatments to acute-care facilities in 2005. The data do not include Medicare or Medicaid claims.
While many other states provide information on hospitals' billed charges, only two other statesNew Hampshire and Pennsylvaniareport the actual charges that most insurers pay.
Consumers can choose "knee joint replacement," for instance, and find out the average and median payment made to each hospital in the state for that service and the number of patients treated.
"The information will benefit a variety of partiesfrom patients scheduling a surgery to employers shopping for health plans to insurers negotiating discounts with providers," Cory Streisinger, director of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, said in a written statement.