iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Price Variation among Cities for Common Medical Services

Imaging if the price of milk or eggs varied as do medical services. . .

According to Castlight Health, analysis of in-network price differences in a U.S. commercially insured population shows within the 30 most populous U.S. cities, prices vary greatly for the same service:

Up to 23x for a lipid panel in Dallas (from $15 to $343)

Up to 12x for a CT scan (of head/brain) in Philadelphia (from $264 to $3,271)

Up to 11x for an MRI (of lower back) in New York City (from $416 to $4,527)

Up to 4x for an adult preventive primary care visit in Phoenix (from $40 to $195)

Castlight Health also ranked the most expensive and least expensive cities in the 30 most populous U.S. cities for four common outpatient services:

-For a lipid panel, Indianapolis came in most expensive (average price $89) and Pittsburgh the least (average price $19)

-For a CT scan (of head/brain), Sacramento came in most expensive (average price $1,404) and Orlando the least (average price $611)

-For an MRI (of lower back), Sacramento came in most expensive (average price $2,635) and Seattle the least (average price $907)

-For an adult preventive primary care visit, San Francisco came in most expensive (average price $251) and Miami the least (average price $95)

Source: Castlight Health

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