Primary Listings

Diagnostic Imaging Procedures: x-ray, MRI, CT, PET scans (RadiologyInfo)

Diagnostic imaging procedures and tests are described and explained for x-ray, MRIs, CT, PET scans and more, at RadiologyInfo. Examples include angiograms, colonoscopy and colonography, x-ray guided biopsy, mammography, MRI, CAT scans, head CT, PET scans, ultrasound, bone densitometry, calcium scoring, some cancer treatments and hundreds more. RadiologyInfo™ is the public information Web site of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). It informs the public about diagnostic radiology and interventional procedures, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy.

Epilepsy Foundation – Importance of EEG Tests

The Epilepsy Foundation describes the importance of EEG tests. Short description of EEG tests, and other brain imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans, that may be ordered for testing for seizures. The Epilepsy Foundation is a major nonprofit organization.

Screening for Carotid Artery Stenosis NOT Recommended (2021)

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends AGAINST screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis (CAS) in the general adult population. Full details and studies are outlined in the report. Updated February 2021.

TCD Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound Screening for Sickle Cell

Transcranial Doppler (TCD) Ultrasound Screening for patients with Sickle Cell Anemia, is an important test to detect the risk of strokes. Annual scans – a 15-minute noninvasive, painless procedure – are recommended for ages 2 to  about 16. From Sickle Cell Disease News.

Other Helpful Listings

California – Average Inpatient and Outpatient Prices, 2022 Hospital Chargemaster

California provides average prices for inpatient and outpatient procedures as of June 1, 2022, as listed in each hospital’s chargemaster. All CA hospitals are included. Excel files show prices for at least 25 common outpatient procedures. 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 2022 inpatient prices are listed only in each hospital’s 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 may need to wade through more than 10,000 individual services listed in the chargemaster to find what you want to know.  Files are in Excel file format. Prices are from 2022. Consumers can see one hospital at a time by downloading their chargemaster file.  Provided through California OSHPD, the state government Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Food and Drug Administration Home Page

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices, vaccines, and more. Example of news: vaccine approvals or emergency use authorizations (EUAs), drug shortages, new drug approvals, medical device recalls, disposing unused medicines, opioid medications. See  section on Radiation-Emitting products to learn about x-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Special section on COVID-19 has extensive resources.

Hospital Clinic and Office Visit Charges and Medicare Payments 2020

Find Hospital Clinic and Office Visit charges (average price) for 2020, 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 a large dataset 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 $149) and 99214 (average charge about $222). Medicare allowed about $72 for code 99213 and about $105 for 99214. Therapeutic exercise (code 97110) had average charge of $63, 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 $1,201, with Medicare allowing just $174 for the ER visit facility charge. A CBC lab test 85025 had an average charge of $35 (Medicare allowed $8); a blood test coded 88053 had an average charge of $56, with Medicare allowing $10. State by state average prices are also listed. Physician charges may be available in the Provider dataset. Calendar year 2020 data from CMS updated July 2022.

Louisiana Hospital Ratings and Prices – LA Hospital Inform

Louisiana Hospital Ratings and Prices from lahospitalinform.org. The most recent quality ratings and outpatient charges (prices) at this site are from 2020. Consumers could add minimum 5.3% medical inflation to translate to 2022 dollars. No dates on the number of inpatients and inpatient charges. Compare 3 hospitals at a time, side by side. Average costs are not shown; only range of charges (low price and high price only) for Medicare patients. Also compare hospitals on number of cases at LA hospitals. Find hip or knee surgery price range, gall bladder removal, psychiatric admission, rehab, heart problems, stent, stomach problems, stroke, GI hemorrhage, kidney failure, COPD, pneumonia, diabetes, bowel surgery, more. Outpatient Medicare prices include heart tests such as cardiac cath, heart imaging, pacemaker; CAT scan or CT angiography; GI endoscopy, mental health, general surgery, chest x-ray, MRI, more. Because it’s Medicare patients only, childbirth delivery, C-section and newborn average costs are not included. Quality tab shows volumes for each procedure and scores from Hospital Compare (federal government site). LA Hospital Inform is sponsored by the Louisiana Hospital Association.

Maine – Average Cost for Hospital and Doctor Visits (2020-2021) Editor's Pick

Find the average cost for both hospital and doctor visits in Maine in 2020 to 2021. These “costs” may be less than charges or prices, since they are what 35 commercial payers actually paid for the service in the 12 months ending March 31, 2021. Compare costs at different clinics and hospitals. Average cost for an ER visit in Maine was $604 for a moderate severity emergency department visit (before adding lab, imaging and other tests). A high severity visit (code 99284) to the ED cost $1,029 before other test costs were added in. Average vaginal delivery costs (median payment) was $16,451 for Childbirth delivery and 60 days of related care. This was up 15% from the prior year. (Does include physician care, but probably not newborn charges). An uncomplicated C-Section averaged $24,257, up 8%. Find costs for other surgeries by hospital, such as hip or knee joint replacement, arthroscopy, colonoscopy, hernia repair, tonsillectomy and gall bladder surgery. Find many median (middle) payments here physician office visits ($116 average cost for 15-minute appt for an established patient 99213), CT, MRI, x-ray, lab tests and more. A one hour crisis psychotherapy visit averaged $218. An ongoing 60 minute psychotherapy visit (90837) cost $100 on average. Uses CPT codes. All “average cost” figures are actually median payment. Almost 8 million claims were analyzed. However, no Medicare or Medicaid claims were included. More surgery costs were added this past year, so we are giving this the Editor’s Pick award. From Maine Health Data Organization in State of Maine

Maine Costs for Surgery, x-ray, imaging, lab tests (MHDO)

Compare costs in Maine for surgery, x-ray, imaging and lab tests across hospitals and medical groups. MHDO Maine Health Data Organization’s website shows average amount paid (median “cost”) by commercial insurance for surgery such as hip or knee replacement, shoulder arthroscopy, carpal tunnel, gallbladder removal; skin growth removal; lab tests such as strep, blood tests, urine. Imaging tests such as mammogram, x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound. Diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopy. 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. Costs for surgery, office visits and tests are from 2020-2021 claims, excluding Medicare and Medicaid. Search by city or zip code radius. From maine.gov; updated 2022.

Maryland Hospital Quality Ratings (MHCC)

Compare Maryland hospital quality ratings. Overall patient reviews (consumer satisfaction), quality and safety ratings for people hospitalized in Maryland. Topics include different types of infections, emergency department (ER) waiting time, heart conditions, pneumonia, COPD, hip and knee surgery, imaging, stroke, maternity and newborn care, surgery infections for hysterectomy, colon surgery and more. Search by condition or procedure might be the most helpful. Actual hospital scores are shown, but the dates are not. Also unclear what the definitions and dates are, for the national comparisons. Published by MD Health Care Commission (MHCC). Other than knowing how old the data used in the quality measures are, this might be the best state-based rating of hospitals in the US. Updated 2022.

Michigan – Compare Physician Groups in SE Mich.

Compare physician groups in southeast Michigan. The Greater Detroit Area Health Council provides a 7-county health care performance report at MyCareCompare.org. Compare medical groups (side-by-side) for diabetes care, cancer screening, blood pressure control, antibiotic use, strep throat testing, well child visits, immunizations, weight assessment, physical activity counseling, nutrition counseling, sexual health, low back pain, asthma medications, cholesterol and heart disease care. Easy to use. Medical groups are in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Pontiac and counties: Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, and St. Clair. GDAHC was an early leader in quality transparency. Medical group data from 2018; no updates as of March 2022.

Montana Hospital Outpatient Surgery and Test Costs

Find out how much outpatient surgery and imaging tests cost in Montana in 2019-2020. Compare MT hospital charges for ambulatory surgery and diagnostic tests such as colonoscopy (median charge $2,611 for a diagnostic colonoscopy code 45378), 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 (median $6,004 with adenoid removal, under age 12, code 42820), cataracts, ear tubes, knee cartilage, bunions, child’s appendix removal, carpal tunnel, gallbladder removal, skin lesions, upper GI endoscopy; x ray, CT, MRI (e.g. spine MRI without dye had a median price of $1,692, code 72148) and other radiology imaging prices listed. Costs are from July 2019-June 2020. Consumers may wish to add medical inflation to estimate 2023 prices. No updates available as of April 2023.

MRI Safety – ACR Manual on MR Safety, 2020

American College of Radiology (ACR) manual on MR safety is an official 2020 guidance document for safe practices in MRI suites. Anyone who remembers the horrific 2001 accident in Valhalla, NY, will want to learn about magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite design, personnel screening and staff classifications by level of training, device & object screening, signs & labeling, adverse event prevention, four zones and more. Updates the prior 2002 and 2004 white papers and 2007 and 2013 Guidance documents.

New Hampshire Prices for Physician Visits, ER, Outpatient Hospital and Dental Care – Compare (free) Editor's Pick

Compare New Hampshire prices for physician office visits, Emergency Room, psychotherapy, dental care, hospital outpatient lab tests, PT visits and some surgery. Ambulance and medium level ER prices are included in NH. Prices are estimated at 2021-2022 prices plus 5% price inflation. Statewide cost estimate is also shown. (Example is $286 average cost for an office visit 99214. But for the uninsured, costs after discounts in a few towns could be below $100.) Choose Medical or Dental. The average dental cleaning for an adult cost $122. The average cost for a comprehensive dental exam in New Hampshire is estimated at $120. Select insurance, or uninsured to compare charges with your deductible. “Show All Procedures” will let you select procedure, test (e.g. lab, Radiology such as x-ray, MRI, CT or ultrasound), office visit or service. Tonsillectomy, gall bladder surgery, hernia repair, colonoscopy and a few other surgeries are bundled to include surgeon and anesthesia costs. Price transparency project developed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department. NH HealthCost is an excellent website, easy to navigate. It is more current than most, and has earned Editor’s Pick.

Nova Scotia Wait Times for Tests and Surgery Editor's Pick

Excellent government web site from Nova Scotia Canada shows the wait times for diagnostic tests such as MRIs, CT, bone density scans, mammograms, breast biopsy (needle), ultrasound, and upper GI series. Waiting times for scheduled surgery such as ear tubes, hip or knee replacement, bunionectomy, carpal tunnel, gallbladder removal, heart or valve surgery, hysterectomy, hernia repair, tonsillectomy, and cataract surgery; and how long to get a consult with physician specialists (such as cancer specialists). View by doctor’s or surgeon’s name, in addition to hospital and facility. Information is very recent, updated 2023. Editor’s Pick for novascotia.ca

Oregon Hospital Guide to Costs

The Oregon Hospital Guide to Costs lets consumers compare hospitals on 2016 (very 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. Full charges or prices are not shown. Consumers may wish to add minimum medical inflation factor (17%) to guess 2022 costs. 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. Such information is also outdated. Site by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) to meet state requirements, but not particularly relevant in 2022.

Vermont – 2022 Outpatient Diagnostic Test Prices

Compare 2022 Vermont hospital outpatient diagnostic test prices for lab work, x-ray & imaging tests. Scroll to Pricing of Common Services at Community Hospitals, Pricing by Service Type. MRI charges with physician fee averaged $2,896 to $5,118. CT scan of head, neck, face, chest, spine, pelvis, abdomen (overall CT average $1,816 to $4,751); screening mammograms average $726 with physician charge. Specific test prices for urinalysis, glucose, Metabolic Panel ($127 average cost), lipid panel ($117), PSA test (average cost $188, hospital range 74 to 311), CBC (VT range $ 68 to $84), strep test group A swab ($74 state average), Pap test, blood typing, OB ultrasound first trimester, x-rays, Cardiology EKG or echocardiogram, PT evaluation, colonoscopies ($4,324 without biopsy) and more. CPT codes listed. Prices good through Sept. 2022. Tables 3B through 3O. Vermont probably has the best State site for hospital outpatient diagnostic test cost comparison. However, consumers may have to check multiple reports to find the test they are looking for. It can be a slow process. Published 2022.

Virginia Healthcare Prices – ER Visit, Ambulatory Surgery, Test, Hospital Stay Costs

Find Virginia Healthcare Prices for ER visits, 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 which includes average base cost of $14,402 plus mileage). 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 12% medical inflation rate to estimate 2022 costs. Virginia Healthcare Pricing Transparency, from Virginia Health Information (VHI), updated June 2020. No new updates as of August, 2022.

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