Where You Live Influences What You Pay For Some Surgery, Report Finds

A new report reveals sharp variations in how much it costs to get a hip or knee replaced in Colorado depending on where you live.

The Center for Improving Value in Health Care found prices for those procedures from some commercial insurance payers can be as much as 215 percent higher than those for Medicare. In northeast Colorado, the difference can more than $53,000 more.

The highest commercial costs were in the northeast, followed by the mountain region and the Western Slope.

CIVICS’s Jonathan Mathieu says it’s hard to pinpoint a reason for the disparities -- costs can vary for a lot of reasons.

“The number of providers or the number of facilities doing surgeries in a particular region," he said. "The types of people obtaining those kinds surgeries, the number of insurance companies offering plans in the different regions.”

Mathieu says more populated areas typically have more competition, which drives down prices.