Bay Area residents pay more for surgical procedures than patients in any other part of the state, according to a report.
CalPIRG Education Fund found that Bay Area hospitals were "vastly more expensive than those elsewhere in the state" for surgery, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
There's one slight flaw in the data, from a consumers' perspective: data from Kaiser Permanente, the Bay Area-based healthcare giant, was not included in the report.
That said, the report found that a surgery in San Mateo County costs an average of 220 percent more than a procedure in Orange County, and a surgery in San Francisco is 212 percent more expensive than one in Fresno, the newspaper reported.
A disk removal costs $98,406 in Santa Rosa, and $19,340 in Santa Barbara, the newspaper reported.
What's going on? It's not regional cost of living or patient income. And higher costs do not necessarily indicate higher care, the newspaper reported.
It's simply an "inefficient market," in which patients are locked into using hospitals who won't disclose the cost of surgeries until after they are done, the newspaper reported.