If you want a CT scan that costs $802 less, go to Canada | Vox

It’s no secret that many (most?) health care costs are lower in other developed countries. The real question is—why?

Is the $802 difference solely due to higher reimbursement paid to radiologists in the US to read the scan? [1] Or is it due to a relentless pursuit of advanced technology for a competitive edge in America’s capitalist health care system that means we are using unnecessarily advanced CT scanner compared to Canada? Or is it pure profit motives? Or is some of the increased cost due to health insurance overhead and malpractice costs?

While it’s interesting to look at these 15 charts comparing costs in the US to other developed countries, it provides very little insight into the actual problems.


  1. It’s unclear from this data what the figures actually include (e.g.—are physician fees included in these costs) and if the figures are even comparable across countries due to differential bundling of facility and physician fees.  ↩

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