The high cost of healthcare
We frequently hear that healthcare is expensive. Healthcare is expensive, especially at hospitals, which must operate around the clock to ensure that people have care when they need it.
How expensive is it? That depends on which numbers you use. The chart below is based on figures reported by hospitals to the state of California. It shows that Monterey County hospitals are comparable to each other and even to Stanford Hospital when it comes to the average payment made by health insurance companies per discharged patient, adjusted for severity of illness. We have made that adjustment to take into account the fact that it costs more to care for sicker patients; therefore hospitals that take care of more of the sickest patients necessarily cost more. For example, one hospital may have a large number of childbirths while another does a large number of heart surgeries. The raw figures would show a much higher average discharge payment at the hospital doing the heart surgeries, so the figures have been adjusted to enable a direct cost comparison by taking the severity of illnesses treated into account.