MedlinePlus site for Back Pain provides links to resources for back pain (backache). Information on imaging tests for back pain, effect of opioid medications and taking narcotics, how to avoid addiction to pain killers, spinal fusion, minimally invasive spinal surgery, back surgery, back pain at work (by Mayo Clinic), links to videos; more
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have designated national Blue Distinction Centers meeting their standards and selection criteria for bariatric weight loss surgery, cancer care, cardiac (heart) care, fertility care, organ transplants (e.g. adult and pediatric bone marrow/stem cell, heart, kidney, liver); lung(adult only) transplants, total knee and hip replacement, maternity care, back spine surgery, Substance Use Treatment and Recovery (new in 2020), cellular immunotherapy, and gene therapy for ocular disorders (inherited blindness). Quality criteria can be found from the home page. In addition to Blue Distinction Centers, the Blue Distinction+ (Plus) designates high quality centers considered to have “more affordable care”. (No further information is available on prices.) Interactive database; updated 2022.
Exercise guide for low back pain, prepared by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Easy to follow, with simple drawings of exercises. Reviewed January 2022.
NIH provides 9 Things To Know About Chronic Low-Back Pain and options to help manage it. List of non-surgical alternatives to alleviate back pain, along with statements of how effective the treatments are. Written by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Updated March 2023
General overview of spinal stenosis – what is it, who gets it, symptoms, treatment (surgery and nonsurgical) and more. By the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of NIH
See Consumer Health Ratings’ main category on Costs to COMPARE average costs, prices or charges among providers. Compare specific hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers or clinics for hospitalizations, many surgeries, procedures and outpatient tests. The LEARN MORE listings show general average costs of healthcare in your region, if available.
See Consumer Health Ratings’ main page to compare Quality. Find ratings, report cards and credentials. Free public reports of quality ratings and comparisons among individual hospitals, nursing homes, health insurance plans, and other health care services. Check your physician’s credentials and look up your doctor’s medical license in this category.
The top 10 of 20 most expensive conditions that people got hospitalized for in 2017, were Septicemia, osteoarthritis, liveborn infants, heart attack (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF), back problems, respiratory failure, coronary atherosclerosis, cerebral infarction (stroke), and diabetes with complication. The full list identifies 20 health conditions that cost the nation the most in hospital charges in 2017. The top 10 represented 43% of the total national hospital bill. For Medicaid patients, complications during childbirth, schizophrenia and previous C-section were in the top 10. For self-pay patients/no insurance, diabetes with complications was the 3rd most expensive condition. 18-page Statistical Brief #261 by AHRQ uses 2017 HCUP data; published July 2020.
Find average charge for about 80 outpatient ambulatory surgery procedures done in hospitals in 2007 (excluding surgeon’s or other physician fees.) Consumers will need to adjust the 2007 prices for medical inflation, to estimate 2021 costs. Add at least 56% for a rough estimate. Overall average was $6,100, compared to nearly $40,000 for inpatient surgery. In today’s 2022 medical dollars, that would be $9,500 and more than $62,000. Average colonoscopy & biopsy price in 2007 was $2,369; upper GI endoscopy $3,131; cataract & lens was $4,870; tonsillectomy $5,286; knee cartilage $7,357; hernia repair $8,187; outpatient gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) $10,838; breast biopsy $3,863; lumpectomy $7,458; ear tube surgery (myringotomy) $3,547; D&C $6,366; arthroscopy $8,970; incontinence procedures $9,929; varicose veins $,8459; bunionectomy $7,699; wrist fracture $7,807; $4,770 for circumcision. AHRQ Statistical Brief #86 was published in February 2010. The report was updated in December 2021, with 2019 volumes, as Statistical Brief 287. Unfortunately, the federal government did not include average charges, or cost estimates. in the new report.
Arkansas hospital volumes, prices, quality ratings and patient satisfaction are listed by name of hospital. Find average charges (a proxy for average costs) for 40 common hospitalizations at specific AR hospitals by Clicking on INPATIENT PRICING after you’ve selected your hospital. Price List varies by hospital, but may include maternity and childbirth, stroke, chest pain, stomach disorders, back pain, nutritional problems (diabetes), blood infection (septicemia), rehabilitation, heart attack, cardiac cath, drug coated stent, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, urinary infection, COPD, pneumonia, total hip or knee replacement surgery, hysterectomy, psychiatric care, ventilator support and more. Volumes are listed under the hospital’s Profile. To find quality scores on emergency department, heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, delivery or surgical infections, and patient opinions, click on QUALITY at each hospital’s page. Hospital Consumer Assist is provided by the Arkansas Hospital Association. Prices from 2017; Quality and Patient Satisfaction scores reflect 2018 ratings. Information is outdated. No updates were made during 2020, 2021, or 2022. Medical inflation has been at least 15% since 2017.
Learn about the average cost for common hospital stays, by diagnosis. Average cost per stay for all diagnoses was $11,700 in 2016. Based on information included in the report, it appears that the 2017 average cost per stay was about $12,100. Therefore the estimated cost in 2022 dollars with medical inflation alone, would be about $13,900 per hospital stay. These numbers are estimated costs, NOT prices; they do not include physician fees. Add at least 15% for medical cost inflation to 2022.
Report shows 20 conditions with the highest total inpatient costs in 2017. Consumers can calculate the 2017 average cost (a convenience not provided in this report, unfortunately) for more than 20 conditions. For example, the average cost per stay for osteoarthritis calculates to about $15,900 (2017 dollars). The average cost per stay for a liveborn (newborn) calculates to about $4,000. Conditions include septicemia, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, newborn baby, acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure, coronary atherosclerosis, stroke, diabetes with complications, COPD, pneumonia, hip fracture, depression (using Medicaid data), obesity, and more. Breakouts are shown for Medicare, Medicaid, and private payer cases. Prices or charges will be higher. Statistical Brief #261 National Inpatient Hospital Costs: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer, 2017 from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), AHRQ July 2020.
Statistical Brief #105 shows average estimated cost of a hospital stay for back problems was over $14,000 in 2008 for a 2-day stay (primary diagnosis), or $11,000 for an average 4.3 day length of stay, if the back problem was just one of other diagnoses for admission. Actual charges would have been higher. Average age for an Emergency Dept. visit (ER visit) for a back problem was 44. Report by AHRQ (respected federal gov’t. agency), 2011. Using simple medical inflation rate, a cost of $14,338 in 2008 would be $21,454 in 2022. Charges could easily be 3 to 4 times higher, or more than $85,000. (For reference, HCUPnet shows average charges for a spinal fusion in 2016 to have been $116,776, while average “costs” were $29,035. In 2018 the average charge for a spine fusion was $128,563, with average costs not reported.)
HealthGrades Hospital Ratings (5-star, 3-star, 1-star) for 2023 on over 30 diseases & inpatient procedures: Stroke, back surgery, COPD, diabetes, gall bladder surgery, bowel obstruction, GI Bleed, hip fracture repair, hip replacement, total knee replacement, prostate removal, TURP, hysterectomy (listed under gynecologic surgeries), respiratory failure, pneumonia, cardiac bypass, heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, defibrillator, pacemaker, valve surgery, sepsis, pancreatitis, pulmonary embolism, abdominal aneurysm, stomach surgery, peripheral vascular bypass & more. Probably Medicare-only data for most conditions, although some states provide maternity, appendectomy, and bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) data. More extensive list than the federal government’s site. Publicly-traded company. Most data in 2023 ratings are from Medicare patients, from 2018 to 2020. Patient satisfaction ratings (2020-2021 data) are featured by HealthGrades. One hospital at time, unfortunately. No longer Editor’s Pick, since HealthGrades removed the 3-year patient volume, and actual mortality or complication rates compared to predicted. Mostly, the site shows which ratings awards were given to the hospital by HealthGrades – a fee likely was required for publicizing the award.
Iowa Hospital Charges Compare provides information about volumes and average 2021 charges (amount billed) and median price at IA hospitals. This site is for consumers who want to find the average cost of surgery or other inpatient services. Select one hospital to begin. See price, length of stay, number of cases and more. Must select city first, then body system before finding the procedure. Provided by the Iowa Hospital Association, this is a starting point for comparing average cost of care between Iowa hospitals. Compare typical prices for surgery such as gall bladder removal, bowel surgery, knee joint replacement (only general knee surgery is shown for 2021, average cost of about $70,000); childbirth (listed under women’s health) and newborns, pneumonia, stroke, heart care, transplants, COPD, rehab, and many medical conditions. Severity of illness is shown. Limited focus to one service and category at a time. Average cost (and median charges) across the state are also shown for each procedure. Average charge for delivering a baby (vaginal, uncomplicated) was $11,618 in Iowa in 2021; moderate severity averaged $13,224. Average newborn (normal weight, uncomplicated) charge was $4,485. Physician and surgeon’s charges are not included in the prices. Updated 2022.
Louisiana Hospital Ratings and Prices from lahospitalinform.org. The most recent quality ratings and outpatient charges (prices) at this site are from 2020. Consumers could add minimum 5.3% medical inflation to translate to 2022 dollars. No dates on the number of inpatients and inpatient charges. Compare 3 hospitals at a time, side by side. Average costs are not shown; only range of charges (low price and high price only) for Medicare patients. Also compare hospitals on number of cases at LA hospitals. Find hip or knee surgery price range, gall bladder removal, psychiatric admission, rehab, heart problems, stent, stomach problems, stroke, GI hemorrhage, kidney failure, COPD, pneumonia, diabetes, bowel surgery, more. Outpatient Medicare prices include heart tests such as cardiac cath, heart imaging, pacemaker; CAT scan or CT angiography; GI endoscopy, mental health, general surgery, chest x-ray, MRI, more. Because it’s Medicare patients only, childbirth delivery, C-section and newborn average costs are not included. Quality tab shows volumes for each procedure and scores from Hospital Compare (federal government site). LA Hospital Inform is sponsored by the Louisiana Hospital Association.
Minnesota Hospital Price Check gives hospital-specific prices (charges) for all inpatient hospitalizations and top 25 same-day surgery procedures in MN. Find average and median inpatient cost (before discounts) and volume for newborns and child birth delivery, pneumonia, chest pain, COPD, hip or knee replacement, appendectomy, cellulitis, hysterectomy, rehab, other surgeries & many more. Outpatient prices for biopsies, cataracts, colonoscopy, ear tubes, gallbladder (cholecystectomy), hernia repair, arthroscopy, tonsillectomy, upper GI endoscopy, hysteroscopy, carpal tunnel and other same-day surgery. Hospitalizations are described in medical terms. Because the site uses coding phrases and medical terms (e.g cholecystectomy instead of gall bladder), consumers should be prepared ahead to type in the correct term. Compare 3 hospitals, one procedure at a time; excludes doctor charges; by Minnesota Hospital Association, 2021 prices and volumes of cases. Shows statewide average charge also.
Missouri hospital ER prices, inpatient cost and quality ratings. To compare hospital costs, click on Find a Hospital, then Pricing Data to find the average 2021 price (median charge) for common inpatient medical conditions and surgeries at Missouri (MO) hospitals. In addition, if you click on the arrow to expand, you will find a range of charges, average length of stay, and number of cases per year shown. Childbirth, maternity, mental health, hip and knee surgery, heart care, etc. Must know the general body system (such as musculoskeletal) in order to search inpatient prices.
Emergency department (ER Emergency Room) visit costs are shown separately by “level”. In Missouri, nearly 2/3 of the ER visits were at Levels 3 and 4. Median charge for Level 3 ER visit in 2021 (the most common, moderate severity & moderately complex case) was $1,746. This was 7.6% higher than last year. The second most common ER visit was Level 4 (high severity), had an average cost of $4,435, up almost 7% from 2020. The highest possible Level 5 visit cost $7,748 on average, up 9% from 2020. Just 11% of ER patients were classified as Level 1 or 2; the median prices for these low level visits were $541 and $880 respectively. Average prices shown for 2021. We assume these average costs reflect base price only, without “extra” test costs, and possibly without physician fees. Such information was not readily available at the site. The cost numbers are “sticker price”, not what insurance pays after discounts. Hospital “self-pay discounts” (e.g., 30% or 40% discount off the full charges) are listed at the site. Hospital Quality data also shown at this site. Compare hospitals on infections, readmissions, falls, and other patient safety results. Editor’s Pick for putting all of this information in one place and timely reporting on quality and costs. Published by the Missouri Hospital Association.
Find out how much outpatient surgery and imaging tests cost in Montana in 2019-2020. Compare MT hospital charges for ambulatory surgery and diagnostic tests such as colonoscopy (median charge $2,611 for a diagnostic colonoscopy code 45378), sigmoidoscopy, breast biopsy, cardiac stress tests, cardiac catheterization. All prices EXCLUDE surgeon fees and other physician costs. PricePoint system shows facility prices in the past, for common surgical procedures such as tonsillectomy (median $6,004 with adenoid removal, under age 12, code 42820), cataracts, ear tubes, knee cartilage, bunions, child’s appendix removal, carpal tunnel, gallbladder removal, skin lesions, upper GI endoscopy; x ray, CT, MRI (e.g. spine MRI without dye had a median price of $1,692, code 72148) and other radiology imaging prices listed. Costs are from July 2019-June 2020. Consumers may wish to add medical inflation to estimate 2023 prices. No updates available as of April 2023.
Find rehabilitation hospitals that are accredited by CARF – The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF offers the ability to do an online search for accredited facilities with specific rehab programs you may be interested in. Select Program Focus to search for Addictions, Brain Injury, Mental Health, Integrated Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health, Opioid Treatment, Spinal Cord, Stroke Specialty Services, and more. Choose Age Group to search for older adult focus or children. Search engine is either simple (just put in state or zip code) or very complicated because of its detailed program choices. Updated 2022.
Find South Dakota hospital prices (2021 costs), by name of hospital. SD PricePoint shows average inpatient charges and typical (median) prices for 2021 at South Dakota hospitals. View one hospital at a time, or compare to hospitals for the same type of hospitalization. Select additional cities to add comparisons. Average hospital prices across the state are also listed. As an example, the average 2021 price for a vaginal delivery with no other procedures was $11,316 in SD hospitals; average healthy newborn stay was $4,638. Costs exclude doctor fees. All common hospitalizations shown, such as births and maternity delivery, knee replacement (average price about $44,512 minor severity), heart failure, pneumonia, bowel procedures, COPD, angioplasty, inpatient laparoscopic gallbladder removal (average price $52,222 for moderate severity) and much more. Site shows number of cases and length of stay also. Site by SDAHO (South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, the state’s hospital association. Formerly affiliated with PricePoint. Updated in 2022.
Surgeon Scorecard for knee, hip, gallbladder, spinal fusion and prostate surgery shows complications for each hospital and doctor. It compares individual surgeons’ complication rates (risk-adjusted) for Medicare patients having one of 8 types of inpatient surgery: hip or knee replacement, laparoscopic gallbladder removal, cervical (neck) or lumbar spinal fusion (either posterior or anterior technique), and prostate resection or removal. Analysis by ProPublica looked at billing records from 2009 to 2013. Numbers of cases shown are MEDICARE-ONLY (although the column title omits that point), and require at least 20 cases for a doctor’s rate to be shown. Physician’s rate combines his/her Medicare cases at all hospitals. Website was somewhat controversial in 2015. Tool is easy to use, but it is just a historical snapshot. Unfortunately, data have not been updated by ProPublica.
Get Utah HMO and PPO health insurance ratings for 2022. Includes commercial health insurance plans Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, SelectHealth, United Health Care; and Medicaid plans (Health Choice Utah, Healthy U, Molina, SelectHealth Community Care and CHIP Molina, CHIP SelectHealth) on on antidepressant medications, back pain, cancer screening, and high blood pressure; diabetes, prenatal & maternity, preventive care, well-child visits & immunizations, and more. Additional information for Medicaid plans on dental visits and mental health followup care. Shows actual performance rates. Quality Measures Performance Report uses 2020 data. By utah.gov Office of Healthcare Statistics, January 2022.
How much does outpatient surgery cost in Vermont? To find 2022 prices (the most recent available), see Section called Pricing of Common Services at Community Hospitals.
Tables 2A and 3P let you compare average gross charge (the closest you will get to average cost) for most common ambulatory surgery procedures at 14 general hospitals in VT. Table 3P (Other) Prices is more current, to September 2022, and it includes the physician charge. Hip replacement averaged $38,895 in VT. Knee replacement average cost was over $39,000; knee arthroscopy averaged $14,541. Outpatient gallbladder removal was $17,128 on average. A prostate biopsy was about $4,000. Hernia repair averaged $18,297. A tonsillectomy with adenoid removal in a child under age 12 was $12,618. Cataract prices, carpal tunnel release and more than 20 outpatient procedures are shown. Prices varied by hospital.
Table 2A shows prices for some procedures, 12 months through September 30, 2020 (two to three years old). Here you can find prices for ear tubes (myringotomy), outpatient hysterectomy, bunion removal, lumpectomy and other procedures. This table DOES NOT include the surgeon or other physician fees. Medical inflation has been about 4.7% over the past 2 years, and 9% over 3 years. As with all of Vermont’s reports, the font size is about as small as you can get.
2022 Vermont Hospital Report Card shows average inpatient prices (gross charges) for each VT hospital’s most frequent inpatient admissions. Sample average prices include newborn delivery (normal newborn $3,529; newborn with medical problems = $5,455, but over $25,000 if the baby had major problems), cesarean section ($20,000 to $24,000), average cost for vaginal delivery $10,342 without complications; pneumonia; total hip or knee replacement (average $41,000), depression (average $19,000), psychoses such as schizophrenia (average $39,000), COPD & emphysema, heart failure, chest pain, rehabilitation, heart rhythm problems, back problems, Spinal fusion about $75,000; kidney or urinary tract infection, and other hospital stays. Compare costs on nearly 60 different types of cases, listed by MS-DRG. Compare all hospitals side-by-side in Table 1A; 2019-2020 average charges were published in 2022. Price hikes for 2022 and 2023 are likely.
How much does outpatient surgery cost in WI? Compare Wisconsin ambulatory surgery facility charges (prices) for 2021 for each hospital and freestanding ambulatory surgery center. Find average 2021 charges for 20 common ambulatory surgery procedures, such as Colonoscopy (5 codes), Endoscopy, Angiography, Spinal Injection, Cataract & Lens ($7,916 average), Dental Surgery procedure (average $8,012), Total knee replacement (arthroplasty) average price $41,321 (up 4.5%); outpatient Knee surgery/arthroscopy $13,130 (up 5.9%), Carpal Tunnel $7,738 (up 6.8%) and more. For colonoscopy, a less-frequent Colorectal Cancer Screening, or colonoscopy for a patient that is NOT high risk (code G0121) had an average charge of $3,876 (up 4%) in 2021. However, the two most common colonoscopy procedures had an average charge of about $6,300. Number of procedures for each hospital and surgical center are shown for top 20 only. Go to the Overview report for a longer list of 40 procedures including gall bladder removal [laparoscopic cholecystectomy at $21,370 (up 8.8%) average statewide cost], ear tubes, and hernia repair. Prices do NOT include surgeon and physician fees, which may cost thousands of dollars and could double prices shown. Consumers should add medical inflation to estimate 2022 facility prices. Health Care Data Report 2021 by WHA Information Center, published 2022.
Wisconsin PricePoint tool shows average hospital price, median charge and length of stay for common inpatient services. Full year 2021 prices are shown. Hospitalizations include maternity and newborn births, hip or knee replacement surgery, gallbladder removal, heart surgery, angioplasty, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), valves, cardiac cath, pacemaker, pneumonia, bipolar and other mental health, stroke, back care, asthma, COPD, rehab; kidney, heart, lung or other transplant; hysterectomy, prostate surgery, bowel surgery & more. Dates are not shown on the consumer version of the PricePoint tool. (See dates by going through the professional tool, from the Home page.) Also shows inpatient volumes if you click on more detail. Median price for a uncomplicated vaginal delivery in 2021, with normal newborn care was just over $16,000 total (about $12,000 for mom and $4,000 for baby). From WHA Information Center, part of the Wisconsin Hospital Association WHA Information Center. Updated Apr. 2022.
Surgeon and other physician fees NOT included. Wisc. Hospital Assn. created the PricePoint System now used in other states. This version of Pricepoint has been modified to be payer-specific, so consumers can get a better idea of average cost. Gross charges (sticker price) should be the same for all patients who have identical care. Must watch a video before proceeding to see the prices; you may also need specific medical information about the procedure in order to select the price you are interested in.