About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
It’s like buying a new car: Find out what others are paying for CT scans or hip replacements and offer that
If you go to the emergency room for a minor problem, expect the bill to be $569. Having a colonoscopy done? The bill will be from $2,084 to $2,672, depending on where it’s done.
These prices are included in a new report from Virginia Health Information, the nonprofit that tracks state health data. The organization this week published Health Care Prices, here, a list of the average allowed amounts for 30 common medical procedures and surgeries.
The information is based on what commercial insurance companies in Virginia paid in 2010. It includes price breakdowns for facility, surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist, physician and other charges.
The report is aimed at those who are uninsured or those who have high-deductible health plans. “This information can help consumers better understand what they may pay and to negotiate lower prices for care,” said Michael Lundberg, executive director of VHI, in a statement.
The report advises consumers to “Talk with your health care provider about their price before you get care. Use our price information to negotiate a price as close to or lower than the price listed. Get any agreement in writing.”
Some of the listed prices are:
CT scan (abdomen)-$2,204
CT scan (head/brain)-$1,293
MRI scan (back)-$3,468
MRI scan (knee)-$2,018
Gall bladder surgery-$6,253
Kidney stone removal-$6,494