For the first time, the federal government has made public chargemaster data for the 100 most common Medicare inpatient diagnostic related groups or DRGs. Hospital prices vary widely even within the same within the same city or region.
In an unprecedented move Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made public extensive hospital cost data, jolting healthcare providers, payers, and consumers alike.
The massive file contains chargemaster data or what some call the "sticker price" for the 100 most common Medicare inpatient diagnostic related groups or DRGs. The data does not include physician costs. But it does provide an inside look at how average covered Medicare charges can significantly vary from hospital to hospital within the same city or geographic area.
The data is for 3,400 hospitals and represent 92% of all hospital inpatient charges in fiscal year 2011. Here's a sampling: