Primary Listings

Audiology – What is an Audiologist?

Answers to who are audiologists, where do they work, and what is their role in dispensing hearing aids, are provided by the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. Audiologist Directory is available at this site under Resources – Patients. Once you have names, consumers might also check your state’s licensure database

Ear Tubes – Effectiveness (2017)

Comparative Effectiveness review: Tympanostomy Tubes in Children With Otitis Media. Purpose was to assess effectiveness and harms of tympanostomy tube (TT) surgery in children with persistent middle ear fluid or recurrent ear infections. Published by AHRQ, May 2017

Ear Tubes – What is Myringotomy Surgery?

Brief, consumer-friendly explanation of Ear Tubes, by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). Covers what ear tubes are, who needs them, outpatient surgical procedure, and what to expect after surgery. Complications are reportedly minimal. Link to find an ENT surgeon (Ear/ Nose/ Throat).

Hearing Aids (NIDCD)

Overview of different types of hearing aids, from National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Check the link to Assistive Devices also, under “Related Topics” on the right. NIDCD is part of NIH, the National Institutes on Health.

Hearing Problems and Deafness (MedlinePlus)

Hearing loss is a major problem, estimated to affect about 1/4 of Americans ages 65 to 74, and nearly half age 75 years or more). Read what the experts have to say about hearing disorders, digital hearing aids, cochlear implants, deafness, assistive listening devices, hearing & balance, earwax, earbuds compared to headphones, audiometry, testing and hearing screening in infants, and find links to reputable organizations in this field

Sound Advice on Hearing Aids

The Federal Trade Commission has prepared this short reference post on buying a hearing aid, getting an ear examination, and having hearing evaluations done by dispensers or audiologists. State regulations may exist in your state, to protect consumers

Untreated Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids and PSAPs

Untreated hearing loss is statistically associated with higher risks of social isolation; depression; dementia; falls with injury; and inability to work, travel, or be physically active, according to this 2015 letter from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Letter defines differences between hearing aids and Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs), and cites a 2014 survey that found the average cost of one hearing aid was $2363. Fifteen page report addresses high cost of hearing aids.

Cochlear Implant – Codes you may need to ask about prices

Johns Hopkins provides a list of codes that can help consumers ask their insurance companies about the cost of Cochlear Implants.  Total costs are unknown for 2019. Past estimates have ranged from $37,000 to $100,000. By asking your insurance company and your hospital to look up the procedure codes, you might be able to get a specific cost estimate for this outpatient procedure.

Other Helpful Listings

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

Find average prices for about 80 outpatient ambulatory surgery procedures done in hospitals in 2007 (excluding surgeon’s or other physician fees.) Average colonoscopy & biopsy price then was $2369; upper GI endoscopy $3131; cataract & lens was $4870; tonsillectomy $5286; knee cartilage $7357; hernia repair $8187; outpatient gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) $10,838; breast biopsy $3863; lumpectomy $7458; ear tube surgery (myringotomy) $3547; D&C $6366; arthroscopy $8970; incontinence procedures $9929; vericose veins $8459; bunionectomy $7699; wrist fracture $7807; $4770 for circumcision. Consumers will need to adjust the 2007 prices to estimate 2019 costs; add at least 40% for a rough estimate. Overall average was $6100, compared to nearly $40,000 for inpatient surgery. AHRQ Statistical Brief #86 published February 2010 unfortunately still has not been updated. No longer Editor’s Pick

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. Updated 2019. the USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. Updated 2019

Health of Veterans – National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly IOM) has assembled studies and reports of the health of our military and veterans. Topics include chemical and biological agents (including agent orange, mustard gas and sarin); deployment health, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), health of former POWs, and hearing loss/ tinnitus. Special reports for Gulf War (Iraqi Freedom), exposure in Afghanistan, Viet Nam, Korean War and World War II veterans

Iowa – Average Price for Ambulatory Surgery 2018

Compare average prices for ambulatory outpatient surgery at IA hospitals, before adding surgeon fee or other professional charges. 2018 prices. Check one procedure at a time. Average charge billed last year for Upper GI endoscopy was between $6000 and $6900; Diagnostic Colonoscopy averaged $4,941 excluding physician fees; simple cataract $7442 to $8201; Tonsillectomy over age 11 $10,896; one ear tube $10,265; shoulder surgery $20k to $23,000; laparoscopic gall bladder removal averaged $17k in hospital charges; inguinal hernia repair (laparoscopic) averaged over $21,000. Individual hospitals shown if they have enough volume. From Iowa Hospital Association

MedlinePlus: Traveler’s Health

Topics for consumers who travel, such as jet lag, ears and altitude, motion sickness, in-flight medicine, traveler first aid kits, Cruise ships, Zika, vaccine recommendations, pregnancy and flying can all be found at this site

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

Oregon Hospital Guide to Costs

Compare up to 3 hospitals at a time on 2016 costs paid by commercial insurance companies or patient-paid amounts. Median amounts paid (not charges) are shown for 100 most common outpatient procedures and 50 most common inpatient procedures. 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. Site by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) to meet state requirements. Hospitals also list their financial performance measures for 2017 at this website.

usnews.com Best Hospitals 2018: Ear, nose, and throat

Uses 3 years of Medicare data (minimum 45 Medicare cases over 3 years), to select the top 50 best hospitals for ENT – ear, nose and throat. Top of the list: University of Michigan Hospitals – Michigan Medicine (Ann Arbor) and Stanford Health Care (California). Strong weight to Reputation scores and volume. Rankings also consider survival rates

Vermont – Hospital Outpatient Surgery Prices, 2017 (pdf)

What does ambulatory surgery cost in in Vermont? See Section called Pricing, Charges by Hospital. Table 2A lets you compare average gross charge (the closest you will get to average cost) for most common outpatient surgical procedures at 14 general hospitals in VT. Prices for procedures such as cataract surgery (average $6074), upper GI endoscopy ($5420), knee cartilage surgery ($9520 average), arthrocentesis joint aspiration ($700), gall bladder removal (average $13,484), breast biopsy (avg. $4213), other biopsies, ear tubes (average $3530), tonsillectomy ($6948), pacemaker ($9254), bunion removal (12,114 avg), colonoscopy $3694 average; range $1575 at Northwestern Medical Center to $5169 at North Country Hospital; hernia repair $12,000; excision of skin lesion $2417; fetal monitoring cost $784; circumcision cost $4239; outpatient hysterectomy $21,995; peritoneal dialysis ($10,575), and many more procedures. 12-month avg. charges ending Sept. 30, 2017, 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. About two years old, published 2019. Table 2B shows how many of those procedures the hospital did.

Wisconsin – Ambulatory Surgery Facility Charges, 2017

How much does outpatient surgery cost in WI?  Find average 2017 charges in Wisconsin for 20 common ambulatory surgery procedures, such as Colonoscopy (6 codes), Endoscopy, Biopsy, Spinal Injection, Cataract & Lens ($7353 hospital average), outpatient Knee surgery/arthroscopy ($11,285), Carpal Tunnel ($6463), Ear Tubes, and more. Volumes for each hospital and surgical center are shown for top 20 only. Go to Table 28 in Chapter VI for a longer list of 40 procedures including colonoscopy & biopsy, code 45380 ($5155 average) and gall bladder removal (laparoscopic cholecystectomy at $17,429). Chapter VII compares average prices (along with median charge and volume) at each hospital for twenty 2017 ambulatory surgeries. 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 2019 facility prices. Scroll to bottom of page for Chapters VI and VII Ambulatory Surgery, published by WHA Information Center July 2018.

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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