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Heart surgery patients in America pay 83% more for heart-bypass surgery than Canadians. This has verified the latest market study of Archives of Internal Medicine. The main reasons are higher medicine and labor costs.

Researchers compared the results and costs of treating 12,017 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery at five U.S. hospitals and four in Canada. The average bypass-procedure cost was $20,673 in the U.S. and $10,373 in Canada, before adjustments. The adjusted difference was about 83 percent.

Medical treatment costs Canadian patients less because the government manages the health-care system, keeping costs lower.

Researchers controlled demographic and clinical differences and right after the length of stay in Canada was 16.8% longer than in the United States. There was no difference in in-hospital mortality; and the cost in the United States was 82.5% higher than in Canada.

Labor costs included physician fees and nursing care. In Canada, nursing accounted for 44 percent of the treatment costs, compared with 21 percent in the U.S., because patients spent more time in the hospital in Canada. Still, nursing costs were about the same in each country, because U.S. nurses earned higher salaries. The study didn't provide such figures on doctors' fees.

The researchers found that the cost of medications used to treat bypass patients, including aspirin and the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, were as much as 68% greater in the U.S. than in Canada. The cost of a surgical bed was 36% greater in the U.S. However the cost of a bed in an intensive care unit was about the same.


I don't find this surprising after watching Michael Moore's "Sicko"