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Southern California hospitals charge less than some in the Bay Area, report finds

October 24, 2010 |  8:35 am

King

Hospitals in Southern California generally charge lower rates to patients than those in the Bay Area, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News.

The computer analysis by Kaiser reporter Jordan Rau found that L.A. County, Orange County and Inland Empire hospitals fell below the $20,858 state average, while some Bay Area locations -- notably the San Francisco peninsula and Santa Clara County -- were higher.

From the report:

Hospital rates in the Bay Area now are among California’s most expensive, propelled upward by prominent hospitals and networks, including Sutter Health, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and John Muir Health, according to private and government data. Statewide, hospital prices have been rising rapidly for years. For privately insured patients, the cost of a stay has increased annually by an average of 8.5 percent over the past five years, while the cost of an outpatient visit has grown by 9.6 percent a year, state records reveal.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Dr. Sunao Gilbert dresses a leg injury for patient Christina Guzman last year at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital while Reginald McCoy Jr., right, waits for treatment for what he thinks is a broken finger. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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