A new Consumer Reports tool allows users to compare hospitals online. Your Hospital Stay lets website members punch in a state and city then review information about the most expensive and the cheapest hospitals in the area. The tool for comparing hospitals uses information based on the 2016 Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, a study conducted by John Wennberg, M.D., Elliott Fisher, M.D., and colleagues at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Health insurance often pays for only a portion of hospital-related costs. Learn more about the new tool that provides information about the most expensive and the cheapest hospitals to help save money on healthcare.

Using the Online Hospital Comparison Tool

The online hospital comparison tool provides information about average costs of hospitals by metro area, making it easy to find the most expensive and the cheapest hospital care online. The website also provides information about aggressive vs. conservative treatment available from regional hospitals. The Consumer Reports hospital comparison tool defines “aggressive” as having more days in the hospital and more visits from attending physicians. A side note on the website explains that aggressive care isn’t always better. The note states that in cases of life-threatening chronic conditions, more aggressive treatment in the hospital doesn’t always improve patient outcomes and can shorten life.

Most Expensive and Cheapest Hospitals in Portland, Oregon

Plugging in Portland, Oregon into the online tool to compare hospitals in the area netted some interesting results:

  • Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital at 1015 NW 22nd Avenue in Portland was the most expensive hospital and also featured the most aggressive patient care in the area. The average cost that patients or their health insurance companies paid for inpatient and outpatient care, testing and medical equipment is $3,424.00, according to Consumer Reports.
  • The cheapest hospital in Portland on average is the Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center, located at 2801 N. Gantenbein in Portland. The average cost for a stay in this hospital is $1,914.00. According to Consumer Reports, this hospital was also one of the least aggressive in the area.
  • Comparing hospitals online in Portland also netted a few outside the loop. Like eggs and used cars, hospital care seems to be cheaper in the country… And on the coast. Hospital systems in resort areas near the beach, like Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City and Samaritan Pacific Community Hospital in Newport, Oregon were among the cheapest hospitals on the list, both costing less than $2,000 on average.

New enhancements to the Consumer Reports hospital comparison tool should be arriving soon. A blog post on the website talks about upcoming improvements to the Health area of the site, including an online tool to compare physicians.

More about the Atlas Study Used to Develop the Consumer Reports Hospital Comparison Tool

The Atlas study used to develop the Consumer Reports hospital comparison tool included 4.7 million recipients of traditional Medicare health insurance. The Atlas research group reviewed medical treatment received by patients who were in or out of the hospital during the last two years of their lives. The group studied people who received treatment for one of nine common chronic diseases between 2014 through 2013, were hospitalized on at least one occasion for something other than surgery and were at least 67 years old at the time of death.