What age should you begin screening for breast cancer, cervical cancer or colorectal cancer? Read the two-page HINTS Brief #3 by the National Cancer Institute. It 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. 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.
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)
The USPSTF guidelines recommend 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.
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.
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
Frequently asked questions about the HPV Vaccine, Gardasil, cervical cancer, anal and other genital cancers that may be HPV-related. Updated 2018
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
Find certified mammography facilities near you. Searchable list of nearly 9,000 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 October 1, 2019, 96% of facilities had been inspected, and 84% had no violations, according to the MQSA Scorecard Statistics. About 40 million mammograms are done annually.
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
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
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
Find Florida health insurance plans member satisfaction and quality ratings. Topics include 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, Molina, Neighborhood, Positive, Prestige, Simply, Staywell, Sunshine, United Healthcare, Children’s Medical Services and others. Data reflect services received in 2017 or 2018 for satisfaction ratings; measurement year for the Quality ratings is not shown. Search by county. Member satisfaction for Aetna, AvMed, Capital Health Plan HMO (highest member satisfaction), Cigna, Coventry, Florida Blue, Florida Health Care Plan, Golden Rule PPO (lowest member satisfaction), Health First, Humana, Molina, Neighborhood, Sunshine Health, United. Easy to read. Choose stars or actual ratings. FL reports from floridahealthfinder.gov.
Find the recommended immunizations for babies, children, pre-teens, teens, and adults of all age groups. Easy to read
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
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.
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
Find how much physicians charge for over 100 professional services in Minnesota, ND, SD, WI through Minnesota HealthScores’ Cost Report feature. Compare prices perhaps 500 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 (we think). Unclear if it’s price before or after discounts
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
Compare six New Jersey health insurance companies (HMO/POS and PPO/EPO health insurance plans. Performance reports from Aetna, AmeriHealth, CIGNA, Horizon, Oxford and United, on quality ratings related to asthma, COPD, cancer screening, heart care, hypertension, diabetes, new moms, immunizations, strep tests, mental health medication and followup; frequency of imaging tests for lower back pain, cardiac cath and tonsillectomies; well child care, more. Easy to read. Pub. by NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance, June 2019
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.
Find top NCQA ratings for health insurance plans in Rhode Island. Tufts Associated HMO plan earned the top 5.0 rating from NCQA. Based on Quality, Member Satisfaction and accreditation results. 2019-2020 Ratings
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 shows average price ALLOWED (commercial insurance prices) in 2017 for almost 40 common healthcare services in VA. Includes a mix of outpatient, clinic, hospital stays and other services such as an ambulance (average $522) or helicopter ride (almost $17,000). Examples: 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 median and range of costs and provides a breakout by type of cost: facility, surgeon, anesthesiologist, etc. Also shows average price by setting: clinic vs. hospital vs. ambulatory surgical center; and region of Virgina. Median physician office visit cost was $77. The 2019 report shows the average allowed amount for each service that you or your insurance plan ACTUALLY PAID in 2017. More relevant than most pricing information, but lags in timeliness. Add at least 4.1% medical inflation rate to estimate 2019 costs. Virginia Healthcare Pricing Transparency, from Virginia Health Information (VHI), updated May 2019
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 on the consumer site. Must use the healthcare professionals site to see the dates and the volumes done at each hospital; 2018-2019 prices are shown. Prices exclude surgeon and other doctors’ fees which may double the numbers you see here