By Shaymus McLaughlin
The price for medical tests and procedures – from an X-ray to a glucose measurement – jumped up 6 percent in 2014. And your overall medical bill likely went up too.
MN Community Measurement released its second annual look at the total cost of medical care in Minnesota, finding the average monthly price (for patients with commercial insurance) was $449 per month last year. That’s a $14 increase from 2013, about a 3.2 percent hike.
This isn’t necessarily how much you as a patient pay – it’s a combination of what both you and your insurance dole out to cover the costs charged by the hospital or clinic.
The ranking covers health insurance claims data and doesn’t include patients on government programs (like Medicare of MinnesotaCare).
Costs at different clinics
The ranking found three that have lower than average costs: Community University Health Care Center in Minneapolis, University of St. Thomas Student Health Service in St. Paul, and Seven Day Clinic in Moorhead.
The paper also looks at Mayo Clinic, Chippewa County Montevideo Hospital & Medical Clinic and Sleepy Eye Medical Center.
How much does an X-ray cost?
The price for some of the most common tests, procedures and other services also rose, jumping 6 percent from 2013 to 2014.
Click here to see a list of all the clinics and hospitals measured. On the page, you can then click any of the options to get a detailed breakdown of how much the average cost of care was, plus the average price for a range of different tests. Here’s a portion of Mayo Clinic’s results.
The study looked at 85 different tests and procedures, and found wide swings in costs. For example, a rapid strep test can cost anywhere from $19 to $86 depending on where you go. And a 15-minute office visit can range from $76 to $157.
More on the ranking
The ranking evaluated $8.3 billion in health care costs for Minnesotans in 2014, which Chase says makes it “the most in-depth, comprehensive assessment of the cost of medical care in the country.
“Prices for clinic services are rising faster than the overall cost of care,” said Jim Chase, MNCM President in a news release, “suggesting that medical groups are controlling the amount of care being provided or using less expensive services.”
The 3.2 percent increase was in line with the overall Consumer Price Index for medical care services in Minneapolis, which went up 3.1 percent during the year.
The average monthly bill for individual medical groups swung from as low as $298, to as high as $893.
For adults, the overall average monthly cost was $529 per month; for children, $225.