Primary Listings

Age to Begin Screening for Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Colorectal Cancer (pdf)

Two-page brief by the National Cancer Institute addresses when to get a mammogram, pap test, or one of the tests for colorectal cancer such as fecal occult blood tests, barium enema, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. A large segment of men and women failed to identify the correct ages. HINTS Brief #3 updated August 2006. Information may be dated, so it is useful to also check the USPSTF (US Preventive Services Task Force) recommendations for the latest guidelines.

Breast Cancer Hotline: 1-800-977-4121

The ABCD (After Breast Cancer Diagnosis), operates a national Breast Cancer Hotline – a free, confidential resource for information about breast cancer and support; staffed by trained peer counselors who are breast cancer survivors. Call 1-800-977-4121 (English)

Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

The USPSTF recommends screening for cervical cancer every 3 years with a Pap test in women ages 21 to 29 years. For women aged 30 to 65 years, the USPSTF recommends screening every 3 years with cervical cytology (Pap) alone, every 5 years with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing alone, or every 5 years with an hr HPV test combined with cytology. If both methods are used, this is often called cotesting. Women under age 21 or over age 65 may be exempt from screening, but read the details. USPSTF is the US Preventive Services Task Force. New recommendations were updated in 2018.

Cost of 3 Cancers: Lung, Breast and Colorectal Cancer

See how out-of-pocket costs could accumulate for lung cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer over time. Using 2010 to 2014 data (essentially before the Affordable Care Act), costs were examined over time. See esp. pages 9-10. Patient’s 4-year cost was over $11,000 for lung cancer (of $282,000); $8442 (of $165,000) for colorectal cancer; and $7500 out of pocket (of $101,000 total cost) for breast cancer. Study by Milliman Research, April 2017.

Gynecologic Cancers 2019 (FWC, SGO)

The State of the State of Gynecologic Cancers, 2019 has updates on cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer (endometrial), vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer and Gestational trophoblastic disease, or GTD, which refers to a group of pregnancy-related tumors. Published by the not-for-profit Foundation for Women’s Cancer and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology

HPV Vaccine and Cervical Cancer (American Cancer Society)

Frequently asked questions about the HPV Vaccine, Gardasil, cervical cancer, anal and other genital cancers that may be HPV-related. Updated 2018

Recommendations on Mammograms for Breast Cancer Screening

Recommendations call for most women to receive screening mammography every two years beginning at age 50, to age 74. From the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Updated January 2016

Other Helpful Listings

Certified Mammography Facilities

Searchable list of nearly 9000 mammography facilities by zip code or state that are certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Certifying State as meeting baseline Mammography Quality Standards for equipment, personnel and practices. Use the complete state list (sort by city) if you want a mammogram in another zip code – or you will likely miss some nearby facilities. As of May 1, 2018, just over half of facilities had been inspected, and nearly 87% had no violations, which was a little lower than last year.

Colorado Hospital & Ambulatory Surgery Infection Rates 2018

CO Dept. of Public Health (CDPHE) reports patient infections in health facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis centers. Infection Rates are compared to national average, on surgical site infections for cardiac,colon, breast, hip replacement, knee replacement surgery, outpatient hernia repair, hysterectomy, catheter associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) in adult or neonatal ICU, critical care units & long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs), and dialysis treatment centers (DTCs). If a facility is significantly better or worse, it’s highlighted. 2017 data

Colorado Hospital Quality Ratings, Report Card

Click on Hospital Quality Report at the Report Card Website by the Colorado Hospital Association. See hospital-specific data on mortality (survival rates) and volume. Mortality Measures show survival rate information for heart care (heart failure, heart attack AMI), pneumonia, stroke, hip fracture, or bleeding stomach (GI). Compare CO hospitals on Patient Safety bedsores (pressure sores/ decubitus ulcer), post-surgical blood clots (DVT, PE), sepsis (bloodstream infections) and falls. Volumes and infections for six procedures (hysterectomy, breast surgery, colon surgery, cardiac bypass CABG, hip or knee replacement). 2017 data, all patients. Nurse staffing information also provided. Consumers may need to use the Chrome browser only, to see the hospital information. cohospitalquality.org

Compare Community Health Center ratings – FQHC Editor's Pick

Find and compare performance levels of nearly 1400 federally qualified community health centers (FQHCs) in each state. Ratings on clinical measures include diabetes, hypertension, prenatal care, low birth weight, asthma, childhood immunizations, depression screening, weight management, dental sealants, cervical cancer screening and more.  See Clinical Data section for three-year trends.  Altogether, the health centers have about 12,000 different sites across the US. They receive federal money to lower the price to low income patients. They are locally owned and managed. Services include primary medical care, dentist services, and mental health care. Excellent program if your community is lucky enough to have a community health center. UDS data from 2018

Florida Health Insurance Plans – Quality Ratings & Satisfaction Editor's Pick

Find Member Satisfaction and quality ratings for cancer screening, diabetes, prenatal care, well child care, children’s dental care, high blood pressure for HMOs, Medicare HMOs and Medicaid. Aetna, AvMed, Better Health, Capital, CIGNA, Clear Health Alliance, Community, Coventry, Florida Health Care, Freedom Health, Health First, Health Options, Humana, Magellan, Molina, Neighborhood, Positive, Prestige, Simply, Staywell, Sunshine, United Healthcare, Children’s Medical Services and others. Data reflect services received in 2017. Search by county. Additional member satisfaction for PPOs including Capital Health (highest member satisfaction), Florida Blue, Golden Rule (lowest member satisfaction), Aetna, Cigna, Humana, United. Easy to read.

Immunization Schedules – Official CDC Recommendations

Find the recommended immunizations for babies, children, pre-teens, teens, and adults of all age groups. Easy to read

Maine Charges for Surgery, x-ray, imaging, lab tests (MHDO)

Maine Health Data Organization’s website shows average charges (median prices) for surgery such as hip or knee replacement, shoulder arthroscopy, carpal tunnel, gall bladder removal; skin growth removal; lab tests such as strep, blood tests, urine. Imaging tests such as mammogram, x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound. Good news is that both physician and hospital charges for surgery are shown to give you an idea of total cost (and discounts); CPT codes listed. Surgical prices date from 2016-2017. Office visit and test prices are from 2017 charges. From maine.gov

Medspeak – What did my doctor say? (MLA)

The Medical Library Association describes Medspeak as the special language of health professionals. This site explains and defines common healthcare terms, so you can better understand your doctors and staff.

Missouri Healthcare-Associated Infections – Central Line, Surgery Editor's Pick

Three types of hospital-acquired infections – Central Line Associated Bloodstream (CLAB) Infections and Surgical Site Infection (SSI) rate to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia – are presented by hospital or ambulatory surgery center (ASC) name, along with a symbol identifying whether the facility has a lower or higher rate than its comparison group. Click on DATA if you want to see the actual numbers of infections. Surgery infections available for hysterectomy, hip, heart bypass (CABG), outpatient breast surgery and hernia repair. Report by the MO Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) shows 2017 data. Click on Infection Reporting Data to search

MN Physician fees, office visit cost, colonoscopy, more

Find how much physicians charge for over 100 professional services in Minnesota, ND, SD, WI through Minnesota HealthScores’ Cost Report feature. Compare prices over 150 participating medical groups, and hundreds of clinic locations in Minnesota, and some border communities, for doctor office visits, lab tests, colonoscopy, endoscopy, minor office surgical procedures such as ear wax or wart removal; immunization, psychotherapy. Obstetric services, including inpatient delivery. Medical groups include Allina, Altru, Apple Valley, Aspen, Avera, Brainerd, Children’s Physician Network, Dakota Clinic, Edina, Fairview, Fergus, Grand Itasca, Gundersen, HealthEast, HealthPartners, Lakewood, Mankato, Mayo Clinic, MeritCare, Innovis, North Memorial, Northstar, Olmsted, Osceola, Park Nicollet, Regina, Ridgeview, Sanford, St. Cloud CentraCare, St. Luke’s, St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic, Stillwater, United, University of Minnesota, Winona Clinic, and more; OB-GYN clinics, Report by MN Community Measurement. Does NOT include facility charges which are in the thousands for colonoscopy or childbirth. Interactive easy-to-use format. Costs shown are claims through BCBS, Health Partners, Medica, and Preferred One in 2017. Unclear if it’s price before or after discounts

Montana Hospital Outpatient Surgery and Test Costs

Compare MT hospital charges for ambulatory surgery and diagnostic tests such as colonoscopy, 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, cataracts, ear tubes, knee cartilage, bunions (median $5483, $2000 more for big toe), child’s appendix removal, carpal tunnel, skin lesions, upper GI endoscopy; x ray, CT, MRI and other radiology imaging prices listed; 2015 costs

New Jersey 2016 HMO Performance Report – Compare plans

Compare six health insurance companies (HMO/POS and PPO/EPO) from Aetna, AmeriHealth, CIGNA, Horizon, Oxford and United, on quality ratings related to asthma, COPD, cancer screening, heart care, hypertension, diabetes, new moms, immunizations, mental health; frequency of imaging tests for lower back pain, cardiac cath and tonsillectomies; well child care, more. Easy to read; fast response. Pub. by NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance, May 2017

Ohio Hospital Price List (Sample) – Inpatient, ER, Lab, X-ray Charges

Here’s an Ohio hospital example of a 14-hospital system called OhioHealth showing their current prices for all services at 12 of their hospitals.  Examples of items in the chargemaster include daily hospital room charge, ICU charges, labor, delivery, c-section and newborn prices, price for an ER visit (depends on Level of the emergency department), operating room charges, PT, OT, cardiology and pulmonary charges, prices for x-rays, CTs, MRI, ultrasound, DEXA scan, and many lab tests. Examples are CBC, BUN, Arterial blood gas, lipid panel, troponin, cultures, glucose, hemoglobin A1C, pap smear, creatinine. Because a hospital’s price list might be hundreds of pages long, with thousands of line items, it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for.  The documents are not fully searchable. (For example, the category for Emergency Services requires scrolling to find it.) In addition, selected average charges are provided by each hospital for certain DRGs, without describing what time frame was covered in the calculation.  Average charges list varies by hospital. Caution: Physician professional fees may not be included (even in the Emergency Department).  Check each hospital’s website separately. Covers Riverside Methodist, Grant Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Dublin Methodist and Grove City; Grady Memorial Hospital, Hardin, Marion General, Mansfield, Shelby, O’Bleness, and Berger Hospitals.

Rhode Island – Top Ratings for Health Insurance Plans (NCQA)

Tufts Associated HMO plan earned the top 5.0 rating from NCQA. Based on Quality, Member Satisfaction and accreditation results. 2017-2018 Ratings

Vermont – 2019 Outpatient Diagnostic Test Prices Editor's Pick

Compare 2019 hospital prices for lab work, x-ray & imaging tests. MRI charges averaged $1942 [pelvis angiography] to $4134 [MRI-brain, multiple sequences] with physician fee. CT scan of head, neck, face, chest, spine, pelvis, abdomen (overall CT average $1358 to $4120); digital screening mammograms average $548 with physician charge. Specific test prices for urinalysis, glucose, Metabolic Panel ($111 average), lipid panel ($97), PSA (average $131, range 61 to 267), CBC (range $59 to $72), strep test group A (range from $74 to $82), Pap test (average 122 to 129), pregnancy test (average $58), blood typing, OB ultrasound first trimester (average $903), x-rays, Cardiology EKG or echocardiogram, PT evaluation ($302 average, moderate complexity), colonoscopies ($3660 without biopsy) and more. CPT codes listed. Vermont probably has the best State site for hospital outpatient diagnostic test cost comparison. Some average prices in VT have gone down this year, which may support useful price comparisons among hospitals. Prices good through Sept. 2019. Tables 3B through 3O.

Virginia Healthcare Prices (2015)

Find average price ALLOWED in 2015 for 30 common healthcare services, including hospitalizations (maternity), outpatient xray/imaging, CT and MRI tests; colonoscopy, mammogram; inpatient or ambulatory surgery (e.g. hernia, gall bladder, knee replacement, tonsillectomy, kidney stones); and ER or office visits. Shows costs but doesn’t identify if it’s facility cost only or INCLUDES the surgeon or other physician fees. Each service shows the average allowed amount that you or your insurance plan paid in 2015. More relevant than most pricing information, but confusing because of the doctor fee questions. From Virginia Health Information (VHI), updated Dec. 2016

Wisconsin PricePoint – Outpatient & Ambulatory Surgery Cost

Compare outpatient and ambulatory surgery volume and charges for colonoscopy, cataracts, eardrum surgery, shoulder or knee surgery, carpal tunnel surgery, removal of tonsils & adenoids, appendectomy, breast biopsy, endoscopy, gallbladder (cholecystectomy), upper GI, heart catheterization and more. Compare hospitals and surgical centers. Typical (median) price in county and statewide Wisconsin median prices shown, but no dates are provided for reference. Prices exclude surgeon and other doctors’ fees which may double the numbers you see here

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