Health News Florida
10:58 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Colonoscopies: 1 Piece of Cost Puzzle

As the New York Times reports in the first of a series on out-of-whack health-care spending, the colonoscopy is the priciest screening that healthy Americans routinely get, at an average cost of $1,185. The basic test for cancer in other places around the world is nowhere near as expensive, according to data from the International Federation of Health Plans. Those data don’t include additional charges that can increase the price by hundreds of dollars. 

Credit New York Times

In Florida, as in other places, the prices are all over the map, according to FloridaHealthFinder.gov, an interactive state website.

According to data reported to the state Agency for Health Care Administration, there were just under 200,000 colonoscopy screenings from July 2011 through June 2012.  Prices varied widely, from a low of $347 at Southwest Florida Institute of Ambulatory Surgery in Fort Myers to as high as $30,678 at Medical Center of Trinity in Pasco County.

The state chart gives prices in a range, from low to high, for each facility. The average low price was $1,545, while the average high price was $5,477. You can view the statewide data here.

Following other countries’ examples in how they screen for colon cancer, which achieve results that are just as good at a much lower cost, would face a backlash from doctors who have invested in stand-alone surgery centers, the Times reports.