McAllen, Texas is the town that became synonymous with wasteful health care spending. Based on studies by the Dartmouth Atlas, Congress instructed Medicare to reward hospitals that provide efficient care and take money away from those that didn’t. Two years later, it turns out hospitals around McAllen aren’t as bad as they were made out to be. The treatment at a nearby hospital was 4% more expensive than the national median, but costs to Medicare were the same or less than at 790 hospitals. The priciest hospital in McAllen cost Medicare 7% more than the median. Fourteen of 16 hospitals in Las Vegas cost Medicare 9% or more than the national median. Los Angeles has hospitals whose patients cost Medicare 30% or more than the median.
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