Trauma charges in Florida

This graphic from the Tampa Bay Times is the result of a yearlong investigation into  what different trauma centers (a type of hospital) in Florida charge.

http://www.tampabay.com/topics/specials/2014/trauma-fees.page

There are a few things I really like about this graphic. One, it’s relatively simple. It traces similar metrics (costs for x procedure) across the same institutions. It’s a nice simple color scheme. And it’s not too busy at the outset–but you can click on individual names to get more detailed information.

I think it’s a good example of using clear, straightforward graphics to make the point that some phenomenon has no clear justification. Health care costs are notorious for this–there is no rhyme or reason for them.

When you click through the years, some clear patterns are visible–in particular, that the cost keeps rising through the years.

One gripe I have is about the color-coding on the map. The middle range (which indicates for-profit centers that are not HCA) is indistinguishable on my computer from the nonprofit. They could easily have expanded the color range (or at least tested the graphic on a few different monitors).

Also, when you click through different procedures, the y-axis changes! This is fairly annoying and I think unnecessary–there isn’t a HUGE amount of variation in costs.