Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park is one of the most expensive hospitals in the nation, according to Medicare and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In a 2011 survey released earlier this month, the federal healthcare program said that Garfield Medical Center charges more than three times the national average for common treatments, World Journal（世界日报）reports.
Medicare collected information on the price of treating 100 common diseases, based on discharges paid under Medicare. The survey shows that the Monterey Park hospital charges 3.2 times the national average, even when treating the same diseases. For example, a joint replacement surgery that costs a patient $5,300 in Ada, Okla., will cost $223,000 in Monterey Park, excluding the expense of a surgeon.
Garfield Medical Center Vice President Xiaodong Jiang disagreed with the survey, arguing that the results are based on the hospital’s listed price. In reality, Jiang told World Journal, the hospital charges patients a much lower price, and patients who use cash pay even less. Jiang refused to comment on the details of the report due to a confidentiality agreement with the insurance company. According to Dr. Lin, a former physician, a hospital’s medical bill is usually eight or ten times the real cost, so that the hospital can negotiate the price with the insurance company.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the survey to help the public understand medical expenses and pressure hospitals to lower high prices, according to World Journal. Garfield Medical Center did not comment on whether it will change its pricing policy, but officials told the Chinese publication that "it depends on the change of the industry and the market."