Basic 6-page overview for administrators titled: Providing Consumers with Useful Information About Healthcare Prices; describes the many concerns and arguments about disclosing meaningful prices. Issue Brief #6 by the National Quality Forum, August 2007
The respected Healthcare Financial Management Association issued a 32-page Call to Action - Reconstructing Hospital Pricing Systems saying pricing reform is critical because it is [confusing, opaque, secretive and convoluted]. We couldn't agree more, and support HFMA's references to pricing being incomprehensible and troublesome. The cost-shifting ['hydraulic'] from Medicare and Medicaid was identified as a 22% add-on factor to private payers. Answers are not easy to come by, but this report provides a start. Published in 2007 and still relevant 10 years later
Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan reports average inpatient charges for childbirth and selected inpatient surgeries and surgical procedures. Site also lists average charges for outpatient CT, MRI, mammography, ultrasound, x-ray, laboratory tests, PET scans and outpatient surgical procedures such as gallbladder removal, hernia repair, cataracts, tonsillectomy, and arthroscopy. Long list of prices available for Butterworth / Blodgett for 2008
Main Street Medica provides average cost ranges by hospital or clinic name, for common hospital inpatient stays, outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging tests, medical equipment, prosthetics, & supplies for diabetes & ostomy care, chiropractors. Also gives comparative costs for generic vs. prescription drugs, and price estimates for lab tests. Links to quality reports: MN Healthscores is reliable, but HealthGrades physician ratings reports are unscientific. Read carefully. Includes Minnesota, Fargo and Grand Forks, ND, Sioux Falls, SD and a few WI hospitals. Reported prices apply to Medica member services, not necessarily the general public. Prices are a little old (e.g. 2013), but site is very responsive and easy to use if you search by Procedure or Condition. Medica is a Twin Cities-based NCQA-accredited health insurance plan serving 1.7 million people.
ProHealth Care (Waukesha and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin) provides online comparisons of charges for certain common inpatient hospitalizations such as maternity, and provides the ability to look up charges for procedures such as colonoscopy, MRI, CT, and EKG, as well as surgery such as knee replacement, carpal tunnel, cataracts, ear tubes, vasectomy, hernia, hysterectomy. Prices are undated and do not include surgeon or other physician fees. Self-reported quality reports also at this site
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, NH) gives average charges (current prices) for doctor's office visit, routine physical, ER visit, eye exam, Lab tests (such as strep test at $69, CBC, lipid profile, PSA at $107), Screening Mammogram ($542 plus professional physician charge of $197 ), MRIs (e.g. $6442 for brain MRI including professional fees), CT scan, stress tests, Pregnancy and prenatal tests such as blood typing, OB ultrasound ($1339); Bone density scan, chest x-ray; Colonoscopy screening ($6564), outpatient gall bladder surgery ($29,225), ear tubes, child tonsillectomy ($10,790), hip and knee replacement, arthroscopy ($17,085), breast biopsy for cancer, sleep studies, psychiatric evaluation and more. Prices for other locations also shown. Impressive site, with professional fees being itemized separately and clearly
Extensive list of procedures and surgery price range, self-reported by Rush-Copley Medical Center (Aurora, IL). You may be surprised to see colonoscopy cost is $5720 (or as high as $10,666) before adding the physician fees which are not posted. Large list of lab test prices, x-ray tests, MRI (50 different tests), Ultrasound, CT Scans, Nuclear Medicine, Bone Density, Mammograms, Childbirth (without the Newborn costs), Major Joint Replacement (average cost $84,603 - ranging from $61,000 to $135,000); biopsy prices, Tonsillectomy ($18,000 average) and much more. All prices exclude doctor or surgeon costs. Remarkable commitment to price transparency
Prairie Lakes Healthcare System in Watertown, SD offers a direct lab access program for the public (no physician order needed) for self-pay patients. Prices include pregnancy test, cardiac risk assessment profile, CBC, cholesterol screen, glucose test, A1C test (diabetes control), hemoglobin, lipid panel, metabolic panel, PSA test, TSH (thyroid), urinalysis and more. Many tests cost $15 to $25
Beaumont Health, a large healthcare system in metro Detroit, Michigan reports prices for a limited number of lab tests, imaging tests (x-ray, CT, MRI, PET scans), cardiology tests and a collection of so-called Women's Health tests (ultrasound and other tests). Implied current prices, and expressly stated that they do not include physician's fees such as your surgeon, pathologist, anesthesiologist or radiologist. Number to call for more information is also provided.