Northward medical costs

Medical procedures hit your wallet harder in the North State than in Southern California

Identical medical procedures are generally far more expensive in the North State than in Southern California, a new cost-comparison website shows.

For example, in the Sacramento area, a total hip replacement procedure runs an average of $51,458, compared with $27,748 in east Los Angeles County. The same goes for the average cost of a cesarean section ($28,828 and $17,567, respectively) and knee replacement surgery ($42,488 and $27,276).

Some experts speculate that the difference is due to lack of competition in the North State, where health care is provided mostly through a few large hospital chains, whereas Southern California's health care system is made up of smaller hospitals and independent practices, according to The Sacramento Bee. The site,, is a collaboration of UC San Francisco, Consumer Reports and the California Department of Insurance.