Knee and hip replacement surgeries were more expensive in the United States than in a group of six other industrialized countries in 2014, according to a report from the International Federation of Health Plans.
The U.S. average for total hospital and physician costs was $28,184 for knee replacement and $29,067 for hip replacement. Switzerland was the next most expensive country for knee replacements at $20,132, and Australia was second for hip replacements at $19,484. Spain had the lowest average cost for both surgeries: $6,687 for knee replacement and $6,757 for hip replacement, the IFHP reported.
“We look at these numbers every year and it’s always a shocking demonstration of how much procedures and prescription drugs actually cost,” IFHP Chief Executive Tom Sackville said in a written statement. “There is no reason why identical procedures and products should vary in price so much across countries: it illustrates the damaging effects of an inadequately regulated health care market.”
The IFHP consists of 80 member companies in 25 countries. For the survey, costs for each country were submitted by participating member plans. Costs for the United States are derived from over 370 million employer-sponsored medical claims incurred from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2014, and paid by multiple health plans. Cost data for the other six countries were provided by one private plan in each country.