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Average Cost for People with Hospital ER Visit, MEPS Editor's Pick

Average expenses for people who had one or more visits to the Emergency Room (ER) were $1533 in 2014, up 7.7% from 2013 according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Median, or typical, cost was $749. For people ages 45 to 64, the cost was substantially higher on average ($2176, up 18%). Uninsured people under age 65 averaged $1251 in expenses ($585 median), of which they paid more than 1/3 out of pocket. While average cost for those age 65 and up was generally $1300-1400, Medicare recipients paid only 3 to 6% out of pocket. Median charges for children under age 18 were $449 to $544. In a separate report (not shown), the average expenditure PER Emergency Room visit for 2016 was reported at $1004, compared to $265 for a physician office visit. Many ER users end up having more than one trip to the Emergency department, so the expenses can add up in a year. The federal government has not prepared a detailed report for the 2016 data, yet. It may have discontinued detailed explanations, in favor of the online interactive tool – which we think would be very unfortunate.

California – Average Inpatient and Outpatient Hospital Prices, 2018

Find prices for CA hospitals including Kaiser and Shriners. Inpatient prices are listed in the complicated Charge Master, which shows the charge for every pill, lab test and hospital room rate. MRI and CT tests should be included. More useful are the outpatient files (look for Common25 in the filename), which list the average cost (charge) for top 25 types of outpatient procedures or surgery with CPT code). Hospital Outpatient reports may show prices for Emergency Dept. ER visits, lab tests, CT, MRI, Mammo, x-ray, ultrasound, PT visit, Arthroscopy, colonoscopy, hernia repair, gall bladder removal, etc., depending on their highest volume. Files are in Excel file format. Prices are from June 2018. Consumers can see one hospital at a time.  Provided through California OSHPD.

Emergency Dept. Report – Florida 2015 data (pdf)

Summary report shows average cost (charges) for a hospital ER visit based on acuity. Low acuity Pediatric visit was about $900 in 2015; high acuity pediatric ER visit was about $2800. A For adult women, low acuity mean charge was $1785; High acuity average 2015 charge for men was $6673. Common symptoms (e.g.$2012 for upper respiratory infection visit; $9167 adults for abdominal pain visit to the ER; $3791 for a sprain; $5906 for adult headache including migraine, adult urinary tract infection averaged $6258 and more.) Average cost increased with age. See Tables 4 and 5 for average prices for an emergency visit and Insurance status or Self-Pay charges. 28 pages, published by FL Agency for Health Care Admin. Nov. 2016. No updates as of early 2019.

Florida ER Visit Charges, 2017 (interactive)

Find the average cost of an emergency room (ER / ED) visit at each Florida hospital in 2017. State average ER visit cost (charge) was $6136 (about $55 Billion for nearly 9 million ED visits). North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville had the highest average charge in FL at a whopping $15,136 per ER visit in 2017. Only 1 hospital (Regional General Hospital Williston) had an average charge of $1000 or less. Volume of patients shown here. The highest volume Emergency Department was Lakeland Regional Medical Center, with nearly 170,000 visits. Its average price was $6457.  Complexity and seriousness of the visit vary from hospital to hospital. Easy to use tool, but not diagnosis-specific. From  Check our listing for Hospital Compare to see their most recent star ratings and performance on emergency care.

Healthcare Expenses for Seniors (MEPS 2011 data)

Special report on Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly Age 65 and over, shows median annual expenditures were $4206. Average expenses for those with expense were $9863 in 2011. Medicare paid over 62% (up considerably from 10 years ago); 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 $3199 per day (sticker shock); ER visit was $884 on average; office visit was $228. MEPS Statistical Brief #429, Jan. 2014

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

An average physician office visit in 2008 cost $199, compared to $922 for an Emergency Room visit (median was $89 for doctor’s visit, vs. $422 for ER). Top 5 conditions shown for each ambulatory care visit type. Consumers should expect considerably higher prices since 2008. However, this report informs consumers about the drastic difference between price of care in a doctor’s office vs. Emergency Dept. MEPS data published in Statistical Brief #318, March 2011

Nevada Hospital Emergency Room Prices – Compare (free)

Compare hospital ER visit prices (2014) in Nevada for common reasons people visit emergency departments. Choose illness and hospital (one hospital at a time). Compare to common charges in the county and NV average. For example, a migraine treated in ER typically cost $2961 in NV (and a headache costs $5090). Consumers should note that physician fees are extra, and NOT shown in the website prices. They also need to add inflation factors for 2015, 2016 and 2017. Prices are disease-specific. Nevada PricePoint through NV Hospital Assn.

Nevada Hospital, ER and Ambulatory Surgery 2016 Average Charges shows average charges for every hospital DRG (Diagnosis Related Group) in 2016.  Sample DRGs: Psychoses (average $18,000), Normal Newborn ($3700), uncomplicated vaginal delivery ($18,500), Septicemia ($98,000 with complications, $53k without), Major joint replacement (hip or knee) at $101,000, Cesarean Section ($30,000 without complications, $40,000 with). Overall inpatient charge was a whopping $71,710 per stay, or more than $13,000 per day. Births overall (all types including very ill babies) averaged $25,000 in charges, from $2100 at Banner Churchill to $67,600 at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Average emergency visit charge was $7344 statewide for over 1 million visits. Ranged from $1571 average at Mount Grant General Hospital, to $10,508 average at St. Rose Dominican – Siena Campus. Statewide average Ambulatory Surgery Center charge was $7662, but no breakout by procedure type. Standard Reports also show 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 June 2017

Vermont – Compare Hospital ER Prices (2018) Editor's Pick

Compare published prices for hospital Emergency Room visits, for all 14 hospitals in VT. Average is $328 ($228 for hospital and $101 for doctor, Level 1) to $1769 per visit ($1208 hospital, $560 doctor, Level 5), depending on level of complexity. Both facility and physician charges are shown – an amazing show of leadership in price transparency. Prices do NOT include lab tests, imaging tests or procedures during the ER visit. Prices were good from October 2017 to September 2018; they increased 3.5% on the low level 1, to 4.6% from the prior year on level 5 visits. Wide variation among hospitals. Still awaiting new prices for 2019

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 ER Prices (Emergency Department)

Find typical charge for common visits to emergency departments or hospital-based urgent care. Examples: urinary tract infection (UTI), or nausea and vomiting or teeth problems. Shows median (middle) price for ER (2017-2018) WITHOUT the physician’s fee, and how many cases the hospital treated. If the hospital has on-site urgent care, it will show that price also. Example: Madison area (Dane County) ER cost for UTI was $2863, but much lower at $619 in urgent care settings. Free-standing community Urgent Care clinics are not included in these prices. Mercy Hospital in Janesville charged $1607 in the ER for UTI, but just under $700 median in its urgent care service. WI Hospital Association’s PricePoint makes comparing hospital prices possible. Compare hospitals downtown vs. those in the suburbs.

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