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The International Federation of Health Plans recently released its Comparative Price Report for 2012. This report shows us how much various medical procedures cost in a selection of countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Chile, Spain, the Netherlands, South Africa, France and Argentina. In the cases of the countries with public health plans (i.e. Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Switzerland), the data is provided by the government and in the case of the United States, the prices are calculated from a database of over 100 million paid claims representing nearly one hundred health plans and thousands of health care providers.
Let's select a few key procedures and look at a cost comparison for each:
1.) Daily Cost of a Hospital Stay:
2.) Total Hospital and Physician Cost for a Normal Delivery:
3.) Total Hospital and Physician Cost for a Caesarian Section:
4.) Total Hospital and Physician Cost for a Bypass Surgery:
5.) Physician Fees For Routine Office Visit:
Here is a cost comparison for two very commonly prescribed drugs:
6.) Cost of Celebrex:
7.) Cost of Nexium:
Here is a graph showing the overall spending on health care as a percentage of GDP for several nations in the study:
Do you notice a pattern? In many cases, even the 25th percentile cost in the United States is higher (or close to) the cost in other nations. That explains the last bar graph, doesn't it?
Now, let's look at some data from UnitedHealth Group, the largest single health carrier in the United States noting that compensation data is taken from the proxy statement filed with the SEC on April 25, 2012: