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Colonoscopies: 1 Piece of Cost Puzzle

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
New York Times
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

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. 

In Florida, as in other places, the prices are all over the map, according to, 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. 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.