Question:I've heard it costs much less to have a hip replacement done in Canada compared to the United States. Is this true?
Yes it's true according to a new study just released by McGill University in Canada. They compared 940 Canadian and 739 American patients. All received a total hip replacement (THR). Costs were recorded. Canadian costs were converted into U.S. dollars for comparison.
The researchers found the total cost of a THR in the U.S. is twice as much as the same operation done in Canada. It appears there are two major factors behind this difference. One is the cost of the joint implant itself. Prices can vary as much as 700 percent from one hospital to another.
The second factor is the type of health care system. Canada has a national health system funded by the government. Services are rationed out. Follow-up and rehab after THR are not included as part of the services offered. Even though Canadians stay in the hospital longer, without these added services, the total cost is less.Jon Antoniou, MD, PhD, et al. In-Hospital Cost of Total Hip Arthroplasty in Canada and the United States. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. November 2004. Vol. 86-A. No. 11. Pp. 2435-2439.
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