July 17—The amount a hospital charges for patient care has little bearing on the safety and quality of that care, according to an analysis reported in Kaiser Health News

The analysis compared average hospital charges in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston for total joint replacement without major complications and found that an expensive joint replacement is no predictor of safety and quality. 

For example, in Boston and Washington, the most expensive high-quality hospital can replace a knee for less than the most expensive low and average quality hospitals, Kaiser reports. Similarly, a patient in New York City or Boston could find a moderate quality hospital that performs a knee replacement for no more than a low quality hospital.

According to Kaiser, a similar analysis on pregnancy care found no noticeable correlation between the price paid for maternity and delivery services and the quality of care patients received.

Publication Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013