New Texas Department of Insurance website compares medical costs across the state
The Texas Department of Insurance has launched a new website that provides cost information for 200 common medical procedures in Texas. The website, TexasHealthcareCosts.org, allows consumers to evaluate the costs for various inpatient/outpatient procedures, imaging services, lab tests, and office visits, and compare them by zip code throughout the state. The website also compares in-network and out-of-network claims data.
Data from the website shows that medical procedure costs vary dramatically across the state. For example, a consumer looking for a place to get a hip replacement would find that the average in-network rate for a hip replacement in McAllen, Texas is $89,325. However, that same procedure in Odessa, Texas is $55,343 – a difference of nearly $34,000. For a tonsillectomy, prices range from $8,079 in El Paso, to $18,384 in Dallas, to $24,272 in San Antonio.
In general, listed prices are higher in the Rio Grande and Metroplex regions, with lower costs found in the Western part of the state. However, this doesn’t hold true across the board for all procedures.
For surgeries or other procedures that require multiple bills, the website also breaks down the cost of the facility, surgery, and anesthesia. Here is a breakdown of the associated costs of a hip replacement in the Rio Grande Valley Region.
“It is incredibly difficult to get information on what a procedure will cost before you get the bill,” said Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan. “Consumers should be able to know the cost of a procedure up front, compare prices, and budget for medical care. That’s the goal of this website.”