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Emergency Room - Typical Average Cost of Hospital ED Visit

Primary Listings

Average Cost for People with Hospital ER Visit, 2009, MEPS

Average expenses for people who had one or more visits to the Emergency Room were $1318 in 2009, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Median, or typical, cost was $615. For people ages 45 to 64, the cost was substantially higher on average ($1696). Uninsured people under age 65 averaged $1397 in expenses ($648 median), of which they paid about 37% out of pocket. While average cost for those age 65 and up was $1306, Medicare recipients paid only about 4% to 6% out of pocket. Median charges for children under age 18 were $465 to $469

Emergency Dept. Report - Florida 2008 data (pdf)

Highly informative statistical summary, including average cost (charges) per hospital ER visit of $2996 (2008 prices-adult) and $1324 pediatric, patient characteristics, insurance status or Self-Pay charges, common symptoms (e.g. $5135 for abdominal pain visit, or $2655 average cost for hypertension visit in the ER; $1878 for asthma visit; $2000 - $3000 for headache including migraine), and more. Pediatric visits in 2008 had average charges of $560 to $3963 depending on acuity. Low acuity adult visits ranged from $983 to $2360 rising with age, and from $4383 to $6932 for high acuity visits. Average charges for non-emergent ER visits were $1278 pediatric and $2907 adult. About half of all Florida ER visits were deemed avoidable. See Tables and Appendixes for average prices for an emergency visit. 61 pages, published by FL Agency for Health Care Admin. April 2010

Florida ER Visit Charges, 2011-2012 (interactive)  Editor's Pick

Find the average cost of an emergency room (ER / ED) visit at each Florida hospital in 2011-2012. North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainsville had the highest average charge in FL at $8342 per ER visit in 2011 through first quarter 2012. Only 6 hospitals had an average charge under $1000. Complexity and seriousness of the visit vary from hospital to hospital. Researchers Tool from FloridaHealthFinder.gov.

Healthcare Expenses for Seniors (MEPS 2006 data)

Special report on Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly Age 65 and over, shows median annual expenditures were $4032 in 2006, vs. $2204 in 1996. Average expenses for those with expense were $9080. Medicare paid about 61%; private insurance paid 14%; out-of-pocket amount was 15%. Nearly 97% of seniors had some healthcare expense, most often office-based care and prescribed medicines. Medications took up 22% of the total, averaging $174 per purchase. For seniors, the inpatient room rate averaged $2714 per day (2006); ER visit was $651 on average; office visit was $180. MEPS Statistical Brief #256, Aug. 2009

How Much Does an Office Visit cost compared to an ER visit?

An average physician office visit in 2008 cost $199, compared to $922 for an Emergency Room visit (median was $89 for doctor's visit, vs. $422 for ER). Top 5 conditions shown for each ambulatory care visit type. Consumers should expect considerably higher prices since 2008. MEPS data published in Statistical Brief #318, March 2011

Minnesota: How Much Does It Cost? (word doc)  Editor's Pick

Short document from the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, 2005, displays average charges (from 2003) for nearly 50 common medical treatments (including endoscopy, ear tubes, hysterectomy, tonsillectomy, having a baby, and some prescription drugs), using Minnesota data. An interesting comparison is the cost for the same problem (e.g. sore throat or ear ache), depending on whether the patient seeks office care, urgent care or ER care. This report adds together charges from both the hospital and the physician - not commonly seen in reports of charges. In a time when price data are so difficult to get, this report earns an Editor's Pick as a starting point. After all, did you know that stepping on a rusty nail could cost over $1000, or that a colonoscopy could be a $2000 question? (And this was BEFORE 7 years of steady price increases!)

Nevada Hospital Emergency Room Prices - Compare (free)

Compare hospital ER visit prices (2011) in Nevada for common reasons people visit emergency departments. Choose illness and hospital (one hospital at a time). Compare to common charges in the county and NV average. For example, a migraine treated in ER typically cost $2200 in NV (and a headache costs $4162). Consumers should note that physician fees are extra, and NOT shown in the website prices. They may also need to add inflation factor for 2012. Prices are disease-specific. Nevada PricePoint through NV Hospital Assn.

New Hampshire Costs - Outpatient Surgery, Tests and Maternity

Shows typical prices for many outpatient procedures, plus inpatient maternity care. NH Health Cost shows expected average cost for over 30 common tests and ambulatory surgeries including colonoscopy, mammogram, ER visit; chest x-ray or x-ray for spine, shoulder, knee, ankle, or foot; bone density scan, CT scan (3 types), MRI for back, brain, knee, or pelvis; myocardial imaging; arthrocentesis, arthroscopy of knee, breast biopsy, destruction of lesion, outpatient gall bladder surgery, hernia repair, kidney stone removal, tonsillectomy, breast ultrasound, and other maternity ultrasound tests, births. Site uses 2010-2011 costs increased for price inflation, common language instead of requiring codes, and includes physician fees. Must supply zip code and insurance information (or no insurance). Report by The NH Department of Insurance updated 2012

Vermont - Compare Hospital ER Prices (2012)  Editor's Pick

Compare published prices for hospital Emergency Room visits, for all 14 hospitals in VT. Average is $247 to $1359 per visit, depending on level of complexity. Both facility and physician charges are shown - an amazing show of leadership in price transparency. Prices do NOT include lab tests, imaging tests or procedures during the ER visit. Prices are good from October 2011 to September 2012

Virginia Healthcare Prices (2011)  Editor's Pick

Find average price PAID for 30 common healthcare services, including hospitalizations (maternity), outpatient xray/imaging, CT and MRI tests; colonoscopy, mammogram; inpatient or ambulatory surgery (e.g. hernia, gall bladder, knee replacement, tonsillectomy, kidney stones); and ER or office visits. Shows facility cost PLUS the surgeon or other physician fees. Each service shows the average allowed amount that you or your insurance plan paid in 2011. More comprehensive than most pricing information. From Virginia Health Information (VHI), updated Nov. 2012

Washington Hospital ER Prices and Use (2008-2009)

Find the average charge for a hospital ER visit in Washington (Jan. 2008 to June 2009), by patient age group, or diagnosis. An upper respiratory infection averaged $799, chest pain $4802, headache $2485. Fifty types of emergency visits. Self-pay and uninsured visits shown; average price for a dental disorder ER visit was $489. From the WA state hospital association Oct. 2010

Wisconsin ER Prices (Emergency Department)

Find average charge for common visits to emergency departments or hospital-based urgent care. Examples: chest pain, asthma or acute upper respiratory infection, wrist sprain. Shows last year's average price for ER (2011-2012) WITHOUT the physician's fee, and how many cases the hospital treated. If the hospital has on-site urgent care, it will show that price also. Free-standing community Urgent Care clinics are not included in these prices. One hospital at a time, from the WI Hospital Association's PricePoint

Other Helpful Listings

California - Average Inpatient and Outpatient Hospital Prices, 2012

Find prices for 421 CA hospitals. Inpatient prices are listed in the Charge Master - which shows the charge for every pill, lab test and hospital room rate. MRI and CT tests should be included. Find average cost (charge) for top 25 types of outpatient procedures or surgery by CPT code) for each hospital under a separate tab. Outpatient reports may show prices for Emergency Dept. visit. Files are in Excel file format. Prices are current to June 2012. Consumers can now see one hospital at a time, instead of downloading the mega-file

Five Most Costly Medical Conditions, 2006 (2009 pdf)

Heart conditions, trauma-related disorders, mental disorders, cancer and asthma were identified as the top 5 most costly illnesses in 2006. Medical expenditures (payments) according to MEPS data (household component) show average costs were $5176 for a cancer patient, $3964 for someone with heart disease, $1953 per trauma patient, $1591 for mental health care, and $1059 for someone with asthma. Average out of pocket payments by consumers ranged from 8.2% to 25% of these expenditures. Heart disease accounted for $78 billion in payments in 2006. AHRQ Statistical Brief 248, July 2009

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