What Colonoscopies Cost (and Why)

March 13, 2012
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Recent data from a large New York health insurer show that 85 percent of colonoscopies (about 26,000 procedures) for metro New York consumers were performed in physicians’ offices. The cost for these procedures averaged $450 each, with no additional facility fee. In contrast, a Chicago insurer found that 78 percent of its colonoscopy procedures were performed in hospital outpatient facilities. While the average physician fee for this service was just $330, the facility charge for each procedure ranged from $2,000 to $6,000.

Recent data from a large New York health insurer show that 85 percent of colonoscopies (about 26,000 procedures) for metro New York consumers were performed in physicians’ offices. The cost for these procedures averaged $450 each, with no additional facility fee. In contrast, a Chicago insurer found that 78 percent of its colonoscopy procedures were performed in hospital outpatient facilities. While the average physician fee for this service was just $330, the facility charge for each procedure ranged from $2,000 to $6,000. Thus even though the professional fee was $120 more expensive in New York, the total cost for Chicago consumers was dramatically higher due to the facility component of the charge.

Full editorial by Bobbi Coluni on U.S. healthcare spending in Thomson Reuters.