RURAL HOSPITALS PAY MORE FOR DRUGS
Investigators with the GovernmentAccountability Office (GAO) haveuncovered considerable variations inthe prices paid for prescription drugsby hospital pharmacies.
According to the GAO, the lowestprices were scored by large teachinghospitals in urban locations. Small,nonteaching hospitals in rural areaspaid the highest prices, the investigatorstold Congress.
"Major teaching hospitals paid prices that were an estimated 3.2% lower thanthose paid by nonteaching hospitals for ‘specified covered outpatient drugs,'" theagency reported. In contrast, "rural hospitals paid prices an estimated 4.4% higherthan those paid by urban hospitals for radiopharmaceuticals," and "large hospitalspaid prices an estimated 1.4% lower than those paid by small hospitals."