Data Suggest Higher Medicare Spending Does Not Lead To Better Care | Last week, Kaiser Health News tallied which hospitals’ patients cost Medicare the most, analyzing how much hospitals were spending per patient to the national median for May 2010 to February 2011. On average, patients cost Medicare $17,988. But when researchers compared the spending data to the nation’s top hospitals, they found that none of the top “honor roll” hospitals were among the top spenders that were well over the national median. The average spending per patient at a top hospital was $17,808. None of the hospitals were among the top quarter or bottom quarter of spenders of the 3,346 hospitals which Medicare had evaluated, suggesting that higher spending does not equal better hospital care.