We’ve all heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.”

Usually, we use this saying when talking about the differences in quality between a cheap product and an expensive one. For example; compare an Audi vehicle to a Yugo. The Audi, an expensive luxury car, is known for quality. The Yugo’s reputation is that of a low cost, unreliable car. While this comparison applies quite well to cars, how does it work in healthcare?

We analyzed the billed charges for 36 similar gallbladder removal surgeries. One patient was billed $1,591 for the procedure while another patient was billed $13,328 for the same procedure. The variance in cost between these two providers is nearly $12,000! Which procedure was best? Which patient got what he or she paid for? If the saying “You get what you pay for” is true, then it would indicate that the $13,328 procedure would be the best. But is this true?

There is an inverse relationship between the highest quality care and the cost of a procedure. The highest quality care is delivered by the lowest cost provider because the work is done right the first time. Rework is expensive in any business. It is especially expensive in healthcare. And, unlike other industries, when medical work is redone, patients and their health plans pay the extra expense. And who pays for the health plan? Employers and their employees.

If you are a business executive, we’d love to talk with you about strategies that can help your employees receive highest quality care and  save your company thousands of dollars in premiums and claims costs.