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.
Stitches for a skin laceration
Stitches for a deeper wound
Sinus or ear infection, treatment at walk-in clinic
Sinus or ear infection, treatment at doctor's office
Hearing test, both ears
Test for fluid in middle ear
Appendectomy, surgical removal
Anesthesia for 1-hour appendectomy
Tetanus shot, walk-in clinic
Tetanus shot, physician's office
Complete blood count, differential
does not include physician visit
Office visit, limited exam, treatment
about 5 minutes with doctor
Treatment for flu, doctor's office
about 15 minutes with doctor
Treatment for flu, clinic
includes prescription and lab test, if needed
Broken lower leg, surgical repair
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.