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Q  Why do some people on Medicare pay a different amount for the same procedure than others?
A The simple fact is providers have different – and sometimes higher – operating costs than others. For example, a hospital that serves a disproportionate share of uninsured patients and is also a certified teaching hospital, one that trains residents, will obviously have much higher operating costs than a standard acute care hospital. It is no surprise those higher operating costs are ultimately reflected in the price of care for Medicare-covered procedures. Another explanation for cost variation among Medicare enrollees is based on the type of Medicare health insurance. For instance, Medicare Advantage Plans, offered by private companies such as Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) or Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), often have different prices when compared to traditional Medicare plans since they are negotiated by private companies.

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