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Hospital Clinic and Office Visit Charges and Medicare Payments 2018

Find Hospital Clinic and Office Visit charges (average price) for 2018, and the payments that Medicare made. Find average charges for about 13,000 different codes (depending whether office or hospital facility-based).  National average prices are in the Procedure Summary file. Extremely difficult to use, even if somewhat familiar with using Excel files. File uses HCPCS codes. The most common codes were office visits 99213 (average charge about $138) and 99214 (average charge about $208). Medicare allowed about $71 for code 99213 and about $105 for 99214. Therapeutic exercise (code 97110) had average charge of $61, with Medicare allowing about $26. Lab tests, x-ray, emergency department visits are in the file. An Emergency Department visit (code 99285) had a national average facility charge of $1,118, with Medicare allowing just $174. Physician charges may be available in the Provider Summary Table. Calendar year 2018 data from CMS updated November 2020.

Average Cost of a Hospital ER Visit, MEPS

What is the average cost of a hospital ER visit?  According to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), the average cost of an ER visit was $1,010 in 2018, down 1% from 2017. (If you add medical inflation to 2021, the ER cost estimate would be about $1,091.) Many people made more than one trip to the Emergency Room in 2018. Consequently, the total expenditure per person with one or more ER visits during the year, was $1,534 in 2018. The median expenditure per person with an expense was $775. The ER visit cost varied by age group. Adults ages 18 to 64 had the highest average visit cost at $1,177, followed by age 65+ at $804. Infants and children under age 18 cost $751 per visit on average. The average ER visit cost for someone uninsured was $774 in 2018, compared to $1,372 for someone with private insurance. The federal government has not released costs for the 2019 or 2020 Emergency Department visits yet. It has discontinued detailed explanations, in favor of the online interactive tool – which we think is unfortunate. The interactive tool provides basic overall statistics only, and is difficult for many people to use. Note, the costs reported by MEPS are the expenditures (total amounts paid by all parties including insurance) for the ER visits. Actual charges would be substantially higher.

California – Average Inpatient and Outpatient Prices, 2019 Hospital Chargemaster

California provides average prices for inpatient and outpatient procedures for 2019, as listed in the hospital’s chargemaster. All CA hospitals are included. The most useful and understandable Excel files are the ones that show prices for at least 25 common outpatient procedures. Look for separate file names (e.g. Common25 in the filename), or the tab sheet for form AB 1045. ER visits, MRI and CT test prices should be included, along with selected outpatient surgery. The average cost (charge) for top 25 types of outpatient procedures or surgery includes CPT codes. Outpatient reports may show hospital prices for Emergency Room visits, office visit code 99213, lab tests, CT, MRI, Mammogram, x-ray, ultrasound, Physical Therapy visit, Arthroscopy, colonoscopy, endoscopy, carpal tunnel, hernia repair, gall bladder removal (laparoscopic cholecystectomy), lumbar injections, tonsillectomy, ear tubes and more, depending on each hospital’s highest volume.

California 2019 inpatient prices are listed only in the massive and complicated Charge Master, which shows the charge for every pill, lab test and hospital room rate. This is where you will find maternity, obstetrics, newborn nursery, labor and delivery charges. But you will need to wade through a few thousand services listed in the chargemaster to find what you want to know.  Look for CDM in the file name.

Files are in Excel file format. Prices are from 2019. Consumers can see one hospital at a time.  Rate increases are also shown in these files. Provided through California OSHPD, the state government Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Colorado 2019 Hospital Charges and Insurance Allowed Amounts Editor's Pick

Compare average charges at Colorado hospitals and amounts allowed by insurance in 2019. More than 50 types of hospitalizations. Click on View Reimbursement by Diagnosis or Insurance Provider to see average total charge in 2019, and how much the insurance company allowed. Amazingly, the patient’s responsibility (called member liability) is also shown. Consumers can appreciate the transparency between prices and insurance-allowed amounts. Example: Major joint replacement without complications (such as a hip or knee replacement) had an average price near $82,000 in 2019, and had an average insurance allowed cost near $34,000, or about 41% of the charges; member liability portion was an average of $1,607. Uncomplicated delivery had an average price of $16,151 in 2018, with insurance companies allowing $8,104, or about 50% of the charge. The patient responsibility averaged $1,714. (Maternity 2019 prices were not yet available.) Consumers are also able to see actual hospital prices (Click View Hospital Charges, then select year 2019 and procedure). Example: Average 2019 price for major joint (hip or knee) replacement without major complications at CO hospitals that performed at least 100 procedures, ranged from $40,685 in Delta, to $211,612 at North Suburban Medical Center in Thornton (over 5 times higher). Physician charges are not included in the inpatient costs. However, outpatient prices on average for the state, or region, are also available for 2019. Cataract surgery, colonoscopy, emergency room visit, knee arthroscopy, physician office visit and pregnancy test prices are examples of average charges available on the insurance report. Regions are Denver, Ft. Collins, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Greeley, Pueblo, East and West. The information is jointly published by the Colorado Hospital Association, in conjunction with the  state Division of Insurance’s Department of Regulatory Agencies ( Updated 2020. The site’s timeliness, specific hospital prices listed, showing both charges and amounts allowed by insurance, along with the member patient responsibility, earns Editor’s Pick.

Emergency Dept. Report – Florida 2018 prices (pdf)

Find average prices for an Emergency Department visit in Florida in this report. Summary report shows average cost (charges) in 2018 for a hospital ER visit based on acuity. Low acuity Pediatric visit for under age 10 cost about $1,100 in 2018. The more common high acuity pediatric ER visit (through age 17) had an average cost of $3,655, up almost 7% from the prior year. For adults, a high acuity average 2018 charge was $8,164. Common symptoms average cost shown, e.g. $10,506 adults for abdominal pain visit to the ER; $6,215 for back pain; $5,167 for a sprain; $5,450 for a superficial injury/contusion; $2,772 for upper respiratory infection visit; $5,287 for adult pregnancy complication; adult urinary tract infection averaged $7,598. Average pediatric visit for upper respiratory infection cost $2,114. Self-pay uninsured average charge was $1,201 for a low acuity visit, to $6,736 for high acuity. Medical inflation has been about 8% since 2018, and should be considered in estimating 2021 prices. 26 pages, published by FL Agency for Health Care Admin. This is the latest available report as of March 2021.

Florida ER Visit Charges, 2018

Florida ER visit charges for each hospital in 2018. Find the average cost of an emergency room (ER / ED) visit at each Florida hospital in 2018. State average ER visit cost (charge) was $6,609 (about $60 Billion for over 9 million ED visits). Average cost was up about 7.7% from 2017. Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte had the highest average charge in FL at a whopping $15,360 per ER visit in 2018. Three additional hospitals had average charges over $14,000: Mercy Hospital a campus of Plantation General Hospital, North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Only 1 hospital (Regional General Hospital Williston) had an average charge of $1,000 or less, same as last year. Number of ER patient visits are shown here. The highest volume Emergency Department was Lakeland Regional Medical Center, with nearly 169,000 visits. Its average price was $6,993.  Complexity and seriousness of the visit vary from hospital to hospital. Easy to use tool, but not severity-adjusted. Average charges for broad diagnostic groups can be found, by using the filters in the search tool. From  Check our listing for Hospital Compare to see each hospital’s most recent star ratings and performance on emergency care. No updates as of March 2021, plus it appears this site has lost ease of use, with no side-by-side comparisons.

Healthcare Expenses for Seniors (MEPS)

Healthcare expenses for seniors are outlined in this MEPS report on Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly Age 65 and over. Median annual expenditures were $4,206 per person (about $5,447 in 2020 dollars). Average annual expenses for those with expense were $9,863 in 2011. Using medical inflation rates, $9,863 is about $12,772 in 2020 dollars. Medicare paid over 62% (up considerably from 10 years earlier); private insurance paid 16%; out-of-pocket amount declined to 12%. 96% of seniors had some healthcare expense, most often office-based care and prescribed medicines. Medications took up 22% of the total, averaging $76 per purchase. For seniors, the inpatient room rate averaged $3,199 per day (sticker shock, and over $4,100 in 2020 dollars); ER visit was $884 on average; office visit was $228. MEPS Statistical Brief #429 uses 2011 data, published Jan. 2014. Add about 30% to account for medical inflation to 2020.

How Much Does an Office Visit cost compared to an ER visit?

An average physician office visit in 2018 cost $298, compared to $1,010 for an Emergency Room visit. Average expenses were up 12% for a physician office visit, and down 1% for an ER visit. Median expenditure per PERSON with an expense was $471 for office visits and $775 for ER visits. The median expenditures cover total for the year, including multiple visits. Consumers should expect higher costs for 2021; $298 in 2018 is about $322 in 2021 using medical inflation factors. With inflation, $1,010 is about $1,091 in 2021 dollars.  The data from MEPS (Medical Expenditure Panel Survey) informs consumers about the large difference between cost of care in a doctor’s office vs. Emergency Dept, more than 3 times higher. Separately, the most recent AHRQ Statistical Brief #318 that analyzes Expenses and Characteristics of Physician Visits in Different Ambulatory Care Settings is quite old – 2008 data, published in March 2011. It is mentioned here only for reference. The link is to the interactive database.

Nevada Hospital Inpatient, ER and Ambulatory Surgery 2019 Average Charges

Find average hospital, ER, and ambulatory surgery charges in Nevada for 2019. Each hospital is listed by name. shows average hospital charges (prices) for every NV inpatient DRG (Diagnosis Related Group), and overall average ER or ambulatory surgery charge. Prices really escalated in 2019. Overall Nevada inpatient charge was a whopping $87,649 per stay, or close to $17,000 per day. Average charges increased almost 8% over last year; with a slightly lower case mix index. Sample DRGs: Psychoses (average $20,289, up 17%), Normal Newborn ($5,280, up 13%), uncomplicated vaginal delivery ($25,014, up 14%), Septicemia ($122,702 for DRG 871), Major joint replacement (hip or knee) at $117,150, Cesarean Section ($42,234 without complications). Births overall (all types including very ill babies) averaged $35,106 in charges (up 27%), from $2,276 at Banner Churchill to almost $115,000 at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Average NV emergency room visit charge was $8,436 statewide (up 7.8%) for over 1.1 million visits. Average ER charges ranged from $2,133 average at Battle Mountain General Hospital, to $13,992 average at Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center. Statewide average Ambulatory Surgery Center charge was $8,516 (no increase from 2018), but no breakout by procedure type is shown. Outpatient surgery at a hospital averaged $36,522 in charges, up more than 10%. Standard Reports also show case volume by facility. No information about how much was actually paid. NV reports are a joint effort between Center for Health Information Analysis (CHIA) and the Division of Health Care Financing and Policy (DHCFP). Updated April 2020.

Vermont – Compare Hospital ER Prices (2019)

Compare published prices for hospital Emergency Room visits, for all 14 hospitals in VT, according to level of severity and complexity.  Statewide average ER price is $341 for Level 1 minor problem, before adding tests or procedures. Very few visits are this “simple”. Level 2 low severity ER visit average price is $501 before adding test costs.  Level 3 moderate severity and complexity ER visit (the most common in the US)  average price is $843 for hospital and physician charges, excluding tests and medications etc. Level 4 average price is $1292. Top base price for a Level 5 visit is $1830 per visit ($1275 hospital, $555 doctor fee). For consumer planning purposes, billing code Levels 3, 4 and 5 are most likely to occur.  A recent study of Medicare patients found that the most common ER visit charge was for a Level 5 visit, right at the top of the complexity scale. Both facility and physician charges are shown – an amazing show of leadership in price transparency. Springfield Hospital’s Level 5 charge is $1215; the University of Vermont Medical Center’s Level 5 ER charge is just shy of $3000. Prices do NOT include lab tests, imaging tests or procedures during the ER visit. Prices are good from October 2018 to September 2019.  Table 3D. No update as of Aug. 7, 2020.

Virginia Healthcare Prices – Ambulatory Surgery, Tests, Hospital Stays

Find Virginia Healthcare Prices for ambulatory surgery, tests and hospital stays. This site shows average price ALLOWED (commercial insurance prices) in 2018 for almost 40 common healthcare services in VA. Includes a mix of outpatient, clinic, hospital stays and other services such as an ambulance (median $550) or an emergency helicopter ride ($19,466). 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 well-child visits (median $126). 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 Virginia. The median amount allowed for an ER visit (medium, code 99283) was $1,091. The 2020 report shows allowed amounts for each service that you or your insurance plan ACTUALLY PAID in 2018. More relevant than most pricing information, but lags in timeliness. Add at least 7% medical inflation rate to estimate 2020 costs. Virginia Healthcare Pricing Transparency, from Virginia Health Information (VHI), updated June 2020.

Wisconsin ER and Hospital Urgent Care Prices (Emergency Department)

Find ER visit and urgent care prices for common visits to WI emergency departments (ER) or hospital-based urgent care. Examples of typical charges: mood disorders, urinary tract infection (UTI), abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting or teeth problems. Shows median (middle) price for ER (2020) WITHOUT the physician’s fee. It also shows how many cases the hospital treated. If the hospital has on-site urgent care, it will show that price also. Example: Mercy Health Hospital in Janesville charged $3,169 (median charge during 2020) in the ER for urinary tract infection (UTI), but a lower $767 in its urgent care service. Incidentally, the Mercyhealth ER price for UTI went up 64% since last year; the urgent care cost for UTI went up 14%. However, prices in Madison were even higher. Free-standing community Urgent Care clinics are not included in these prices.  Fifty (50) services are listed. It may be difficult to find what you’re looking for, since common problems such as “breathing problems” are not listed. Still, Wisconsin Hospital Association’s PricePoint makes comparing hospital prices possible. This site is one of the more timely sites for healthcare price transparency. Compare hospitals downtown vs. those in the suburbs. Consumers may wish to add at least 5% medical inflation, depending on the hospital, to estimate 2021 prices. The average hospital price increase for WI hospitals that raised prices this year, has been 4.69% (as of June 8, 2021). Updated 2021.

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