Controller: Health care costs in Philadelphia are on the rise

ambulance
Rikard Larma/Metro.

Having chest pain? If you live in Philadelphia and need to be treated, you may be paying up to $12,185 more than you would have three to four years ago.

That’s because the average cost of treating a number of common health conditions in Philadelphia increased up to 21 percent between 2008 and 2011, according to a report released today by City Controller Alan Butkovitz.

The rise outpaces the 13.3 percent national increase in medical care costs over the same period, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Health care costs are also higher in Philadelphia than elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Butkovitz’ report found that Philly’s health care costs were higher than statewide averages for every condition reviewed – in some instances, up to $20,000 higher.

It also revealed that treatment costs for the conditions reviewed were 75 percent higher at Philadelphia facilities than at comparable Southeastern Pennsylvania health care centers located outside the city.

Butkovitz in his report analyzed the latest available average cost of treatment at Philadelphia facilities for a number of conditions. He found that conditions whose treatments are more expensive locally than the national average include:

 >> Abnormal heartbeat, which in Philly cost an average of $58,454 to treat in 2008 and $70,639 to treat in 2011, a 21% increase.

 >> Chest pain, which in Philly cost an average of $21,796 to treat in 2008 and $26,358 to treat in 2011, a 21% increase.

 >> Congestive heart failure, which in Philly cost an average of $45,071 to treat in 2008 and $54,261 to treat in 2011, a 20% increase.

 >> Gallbladder removal, which in Philly cost an average of $54,323 to treat in 2008 and $64,560 to treat in 2011, a 19% increase.

 

 



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