WRAL Investigates hospital charges

Posted November 7, 2013
Updated November 8, 2013

When you go to the hospital, it's not like going to the grocery store. It's hard to comparison shop. Most people look at what their insurance will cover and they end up where their doctor will perform the procedure.

Earlier this year, the federal government published a database surveying the 100 charges of the 100 most common procedures and services across the country.

We looked into these charges and found the average charge at one hospital can be triple what you'll find at another! We investigated to find out why. For example, why does the average charge for implanting a pacemaker without complications range from a high of $75,000 at Durham Regional to a low of $21,965 at Wayne Memorial? Why were two women who had total knee replacements at two different hospitals charged wildly different amounts?

We compared costs on everything from general admittance to cost of supplies to surgeries, then ranked costs with quality of care ratings to give you an overall ranking of a hospital for a particular procedure.

WRAL Investigates hospital charges WRAL Investigates hospital charges

Our mission is to help you be informed about how this cost process works and how you, the patient, can take more control of what you pay. I'll be on TV Monday night at 5:30 p.m. with the full report.

Have a hospital story to share? You can find me on Twitter – @WRALkelcey. We're talking about this story using #WRALInvestigates.


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  • Wake1 Nov 8, 2013

    Maybe you should investigate the monopoly BCBS has & what they are doing to community hospitals.

  • MarvinsWife12 Nov 7, 2013

    Durham Regional is a teaching hospital. Money is needed to train future doctors, or we won't have any.