Shopping for medical services

  • Article by: KARA MCGUIRE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 2, 2010 - 10:12 PM

SHOPPING FOR MEDICAL SERVICES

Here's a sampling of average fees for medical procedures provided in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, according to Healthcarebluebook.com.

$251

Stitches for a skin laceration

$658

Stitches for a deeper wound

$59

Sinus or ear infection, treatment at walk-in clinic

$109

Sinus or ear infection, treatment at doctor's office

$42

Chest X-ray

$92

Hearing test, both ears

$39

Test for fluid in middle ear

(tympanometry)

$1,036

Appendectomy, surgical removal

$512

Anesthesia for 1-hour appendectomy

$42

Tetanus shot, walk-in clinic

$40

Tetanus shot, physician's office

$23

Complete blood count, differential

does not include physician visit

$37

Office visit, limited exam, treatment

about 5 minutes with doctor

$109

Treatment for flu, doctor's office

about 15 minutes with doctor

$99

Treatment for flu, clinic

includes prescription and lab test, if needed

$766

Knee MRI

$1,524

Broken lower leg, surgical repair

$447

Broken lower leg, one hour anesthesia

CHECKING MEDICAL PRICES

Many insurers post cost estimates for common treatments online.

Medica offers a range of prices for common procedures and allows you to search by facility type (same day surgery center versus a hospital, for example) at Mainstreetmedica.com.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota members can research prices by provider at cdhp.bluecrossmn.com. Non-members can receive general tips on saving money with a high-deductible plan through the Health Plans 101 link.

HealthPartners members can get individualized price estimates from multiple providers and estimate yearly medical costs at www.healthpartners.com/portal/1900.html.

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