Primary Listings

Basics on Lasik: Tips on Lasik Eye Surgery

Basic guide on lasik surgery prepared by the Federal Trade Commission and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, updated 2012

Cataracts – Definition, Symptoms, Surgery (NEI)

Learn all about cataracts quickly. This site gives the definition and symptoms of cataracts; causes and risk factors, treatment and surgery. By the US National Eye Institute (NEI), part of US National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery

How much does LASIK eye surgery cost? Average cost reported at $2,246 per eye for laser vision correction in 2019. Article discusses the cost of LASIK and other corrective eye surgery such as PRK, SMILE and refractive lens exchange. Presented by AllAboutVision, owned by commercial media publishers active in eye care journalism. Usually updated annually.

Diagram of the Eye

See this large-scale diagram drawing of the eye from the National Eye Institute (part of NIH)

Eye Diseases (MedlinePlus)

MedlinePlus ad-free website on eye diseases. Many eye topics are covered such as eye exams, eyestrain and the computer, cataracts, genetics, glaucoma, dry eyes, lazy eye. See more topics in sidebar: Eye Injuries, Eye Infections or Macular Degeneration. Focus is on disease, rather than on surgery.

LASIK Eye Surgery

Summary of important information about lasik eye surgery – which some people call Laser Surgery – to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. Read about what to expect, the risks, FDA-approved lasers, finding the right doctor and avoiding slick advertising. Glossary of terms such as Keratotomy, PRK, lens, Astigmatism. Updated 2018. Check our Cost section for ambulatory surgery prices to see if your state reports the average cost for Lasik procedures

Utah – How Much Does Cataract Surgery Cost?

How much does cataract surgery cost in Utah? According to a new report from the Utah Department of Health, the median amount allowed by commercial insurance companies was $3,295 for cataract surgery between July 2019 and June 2020. The allowed amounts were lower in Ambulatory Surgery settings ($2,732) compared to Hospital Outpatient settings ($3,710), almost $1,000 difference between the two. The lowest allowed amount at a location that had at least 100 procedures (on commercially-insured patients) was The SurgiCare Center of Utah (at the Eye Institute); its allowed median was $2,659, compared to a median charge of $4,142.

The report found median charges could be as high as $16,294, at St. Mark’s Hospital in Millcreek, UT. But St. Mark’s accepted on average, a 72% discount off charges, for an average allowed price of $4,563. What was more common across the 33 locations, was a charge in the $6,300 range, with an allowed amount of $3,295. While this is about a 50% discount off charges, prices varied greatly even within some locations. Discounts will vary by insurance plan. The most expensive place was University Hospitals and Clinics, at a median allowed cost of $5,168. Both University Hospital and Mt. Ogden Surgical Center had median charges over $9,000.

There were 19 ambulatory surgery centers and 14 hospital outpatient locations in the study. CPT code 66984 was used, along with associated anesthesia, surgeon and procedure costs. Code 66984 covers cataract removal with lens insertion, and excludes more complex surgeries. Generally, each surgery is usually for one eye only. Additional details such as volume, and actual numbers for each provider are in Utah’s OpenData Catalog linked in the report. Medicare patients and quality indicators were not included in the study. Published by the Office of Healthcare Statistics, March 2021.

Where Can I Find Cost Information on Eye Procedures?

This page at Consumer Health Ratings shows you where you can find the cost of eye surgery procedures. See the American Hospital Directory – Outpatient Charges for cataract and lens insert – a high-volume outpatient (ambulatory) surgery procedure. In addition, some state governments (e.g. Vermont) or hospital associations post the average charge for cataract surgery by hospital or surgery center name, with side-by-side facility comparisons. Medicare data in the General Costs for Ambulatory Surgery category may also give you a rough idea of the cost. Most cataract surgeries are done in an ambulatory surgery center, instead of a hospital. So it may be necessary to call the surgery center to get a current price quote.

See also Consumer Health Ratings – Ratings, Report Cards and Credentials – Compare Quality Editor's Pick

See Consumer Health Ratings’ main page to compare Quality. Ratings, report cards and credentials. Find 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 license in this category.

Other Helpful Listings

Ambulatory Surgery Average Charges in U.S. Hospitals, 2007

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 to estimate 2020 costs; add at least 48% for a rough estimate. Overall average was $6,100, compared to nearly $40,000 for inpatient surgery. In today’s 2020 medical dollars, that would be over $9,000 vs. $59,000. 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 $7699; wrist fracture $7,807; $4,770 for circumcision. AHRQ Statistical Brief #86 published February 2010 unfortunately still has not been updated by the federal government. No longer Editor’s Pick

Canada Wait Times for Priority Procedures 2020

The 2020 Canada Wait Times report for priority procedures are shown for Canada overall. Covers hip replacement, knee replacement, hip fracture repair, cataract surgery, and radiation therapy, for 2019 and each of the past 5 years. Province data for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador shown as percent meeting the benchmark waiting times which range from 48 hours for hip fracture repair, to 28 days for radiation therapy, to 182 days for hip or knee replacement, to 16 weeks for cataracts. Waiting times overall for cancer surgery (prostate, bladder, lung, colorectal, and breast) and CT & MRI wait times have been omitted. Published July 2020.

Consumer Guide to Prevention – USPSTF Recommendations Editor's Pick

Recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for more than 100 Screening tests, Preventive Medication, and Counseling activities. Individual Consumer Guides for all different types of cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, speech and language disorders, hearing loss, chronic kidney disease, depression, diabetes, abdominal aortic aneurysm, sexually transmitted disease, osteoporosis, and much more. Counseling for alcohol misuse, diet and physical activity. In some cases, the site includes screening guidelines published by other experts, such as JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. The USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. Updated 2020

Cost of an Office Visit (MEPS)

MEPS provides the average and median cost for a doctor’s office visit. Average cost paid (payments) for an office-based physician visit in 2016 was $265 (about $296 in 2020 dollars with medical inflation). For primary care (family medicine, internists and general practice) the 2016 average visit cost was $186. (For all 2016 numbers add about 12% to estimate 2020 prices.) Pediatrics came in at $169; psychiatry at $159, Dermatology at $268, OB/GYN was $280 per visit. Specialists in Ophthalmology were $307, but Orthopedics and Cardiology jumped to $419 and 335 respectively. Other specialists (as a group) averaged $365. Median or typical expenses were considerably lower at $116 overall, and $107 for primary care, $103 for psychiatry and ranging up to $134 median for ophthalmology and orthopedics. Mean out of pocket expense was highest for ophthalmology ($125) and lowest for pediatrics ($40). Primary care was $50 average out of pocket, if the patient had some responsibility. Statistical Brief # 517, pub. October 2018 by AHRQ using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data.

How much does an organ transplant cost? (2020)

How much does an organ transplant cost in the US?  Get ready to see some large numbers for the average charges of an organ transplant in 2020 dollars. The most common transplant – cornea – averages $32,500 in estimated billed charges. Kidney transplant estimated at $442,500 for the entire process, including surgeon fees and drugs. Costs are calculated from 30 days pre-transplant, to 6 months post-transplant discharge. Summary table of cost breakdown is shown. The detailed report shows autologous bone marrow transplant at $471,600, bone marrow-allogenic at $1,071,700 (up 20% since 2017), liver transplant at $878,400, and heart transplant at $1,664,800. Multiple organ transplants easily top an estimated $1 million, or $2.6M for heart-lung or kidney-heart.) By Transplant Living, a project of the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), organization that maintains the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) under contract with HRSA. Report by Milliman was published January 2020.

Illinois Hospital and Ambulatory Surgery Center Ratings and Prices (IDPH)

Illinois hospital and ambulatory surgery center ratings and prices, from IDPH. Compare IL hospitals on patient satisfaction ratings; heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical infection prevention, knee arthroscopy, cardiac surgery, safety measures, infection rates, some survival information, more. See volume and 2018-2019 median charges (closest you’ll get to average cost) for selected types of inpatients (e.g. birth, c-section, appendectomy, COPD, gall bladder), and outpatients at ambulatory surgery centers (such as arthroscopy priced at nearly $37,000 average in IL, bunionectomy (which had a statewide list price at about $21,000), hernia repair, colonoscopy, lens, lumpectomy, tonsillectomy). Prices may be found under the SERVICES tab after you select the hospital or facility. May get a full report for one hospital at a time, or one measure at a time for multiple hospitals side-by-side, with state averages. Hospital Report Card by IL Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) for all IL cities incl. Chicago area, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, Champaign. Updated 2020, using 2018-2019 prices, 2018 quality data, and 2018-2019 patient satisfaction scores.

Iowa – Average Price for Ambulatory Surgery 2019

Compare average prices for ambulatory outpatient surgery at IA hospitals, before adding surgeon fee or other professional charges. 2019 prices. Check one procedure at a time. Average charge billed last year for Upper GI endoscopy was between $5,900 and $7,300; Diagnostic Colonoscopy averaged $5,193 excluding physician fees; simple cataract $7,929 to $8,581; Tonsillectomy over age 11 $10,056 (child) or up to $11,649 for an adult; one ear tube $8,062; shoulder surgery $22k to $24,000; laparoscopic gall bladder removal averaged $19k in hospital charges; inguinal hernia repair (laparoscopic) averaged over $24,000; knee ACL repair averaged $31,042 in Iowa; bunion correction surgery was $19,518 in average charges. Individual hospitals shown if they have enough volume. However, volumes are not shown. More ambulatory surgery procedures are listed. From the Iowa Hospital Association; reasonably easy to use. Updated 2020.

Iowa Hospital Inpatient Charges Compare

Iowa Hospital Charges Compare provides information about volumes and average 2019 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; 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) was $10,687 in Iowa in 2019; average newborn (normal weight) charge was $4,356. Average knee replacement cost was about $48,000 for a minor severity procedure. Physician and surgeon’s charges are not included in the prices.

Medical Terms – What did my doctor say? (MLA)

Medical Terms – What did my doctor say? is explained by the Medical Library Association (MLA).  This site explains and defines common healthcare terms, so you can better understand your doctors and staff. From words ending in “ectomy” to Zygote, many medical terms are defined here.

Minnesota – Hospital Price Check (Inpatient & Outpatient)

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, 2019 prices and volumes of cases

Oregon Hospital Guide to Costs

The Oregon Hospital Guide to Costs lets consumers compare hospitals on 2016 (old) costs. Compare up to 3 hospitals at a time for inpatient and outpatient surgery procedures, imaging tests, newborn care, chemotherapy and radiation paid by commercial insurance companies or patient-paid amounts. Median amounts paid in 2016 (not charges) are shown for most common outpatient procedures and most common inpatient procedures. Consumers may wish to add minimm medical inflation factor (11.2%) to guess 2020 prices; better yet, contact the hospital. Medicare and Medicaid are excluded. Includes maternity & newborn payments, heart care, stents, cardiac cath, hip and knee replacement, many surgery payments such as cataracts, hernia, hysterectomy, kidney removal, gall bladder, breast biopsy, carpal tunnel, mastectomy, tonsillectomy, endoscopy, shoulder surgery, appendectomy. Amounts paid for CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, x-ray and ultrasound; chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Hospitals also list their financial performance measures for 2018 at this website. Site by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) to meet state requirements. Best Hospitals 2020-2021: Ophthalmology (Eye)

Who are the best hospitals for eye surgery (ophthalmology) in 2020-2021, according to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at University of Miami Hospital, and Wills Eye Hospital at Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia top US News & World Report’s 2020-21 list of best hospital Ophthalmology programs.  Thirteen hospitals are listed for eye surgery, ranked using reputation scores only from 2018-2020 physician surveys. No clinical outcomes data were examined (except what individual physicians responding to the survey may have considered on their own).

Vermont – Hospital Outpatient Surgery Prices, 2018

How much does outpatient surgery cost in Vermont? To find 2018 prices (the most recent available), see Section called Pricing of Common Services at Community Hospitals. Table 2A lets 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. Prices for procedures such as cataract surgery (average $6,159), colonoscopy $3,999 average (range $1,628 [up 3%] at Northwestern Medical Center to $6,903 [up 53%] at Gifford Medical Center); upper GI endoscopy with biopsy ($3,519), knee cartilage surgery ($9,046 average, reduced 5%), arthrocentesis joint aspiration ($735), gall bladder removal (average $13,399, down 1%), breast biopsy (avg. $4,456), other biopsies; excision of skin lesion $2,461; ear tubes (average $3,756), tonsillectomy ($7,059, up 1.6%), bunion removal ($12,199 avg), hernia repair $12,960 (up 8%); circumcision cost $4,296, up 1.3%; fetal monitoring cost $799, up 1.9%; outpatient hysterectomy $22,969; peritoneal dialysis ($11,946, up 13%), and many more procedures. 12-month average charges ending Sept. 30, 2018, DO NOT include the surgeon or other physician fees. As with all of Vermont’s reports, the font size is about as small as you can get. Prices are about two years old; the 2020 Report Cards were published June 2020. Medical inflation has been about 6.4% over the past 2 years. Table 2B shows how many of those procedures the hospital did.

Wisconsin – Ambulatory Surgery Facility Charges, 2019

How much does outpatient surgery cost in WI?  Compare Wisconsin ambulatory surgery facility charges (prices) for 2019 for each hospital and freestanding ambulatory surgery center. Find average 2019 charges for 20 common ambulatory surgery procedures, such as Colonoscopy (5 codes), Endoscopy, Biopsy, Spinal Injection, Cataract & Lens ($7,449 average), outpatient Knee surgery/arthroscopy ($12,134), Carpal Tunnel ($6,908), Ear Tubes, and more. A Colorectal Cancer Screening, or colonoscopy for a patient that is NOT high risk (code G0121) had an average charge of $3,553 in 2019. 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 $18,789) and Knee replacement (average charge of $40,524) that gives average cost statewide. 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 2021 facility prices. Health Care Data Report 2019 by WHA Information Center, published August 2020.

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 on the consumer site. Must use the healthcare professionals site to see the dates and the number of procedures done at each hospital; 2019-2020 prices are shown. Prices exclude surgeon and other doctors’ fees which may double the numbers you see here

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