Patients like Gay Miller, a North Carolina resident who paid almost $900 more than her typical $60 co-pay for a routine 30-minute echocardiogram, are feeling the angst of increased out-of-pocket (OOP) costs solely attributable to a change in site of care. Gay received her echocardiogram at a hospital outpatient department (HOPD) as opposed to her cardiologist’s office.
Gay Miller’s experience is unfortunately not isolated. It is one example of a widespread and systematic national problem of price differences based on the site of care. Price differences by site of care refers to differential payments for the same service based on where the service was delivered, e.g. HOPD versus a physician office.