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Virginia health-care cost information released

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Virginia Health Information has published a report that lists the average costs of 31 medical procedures in the state.

The list shows the average amount health insurers pay, for example, for a hip replacement, a CT scan, an emergency room visit or the delivery of a baby.

The cost information is broken down by type of insurer (commercial or Medicare) and the places where procedures are performed: doctors’ offices, hospitals, hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgical centers.

For example, the average amount that private insurers pay for hip replacements is $23,928. Medicare, on the other hand, pays a range of $9,601 to $10,822.

In the birth of a child, the average payment for a vaginal delivery is $5,076, while for a cesarean delivery it is $8,312.

Michael Lundberg, executive director of Virginia Health Information, said that health-care cost information is especially valuable to the uninsured and people who pay a high proportion of their health-care costs. He noted that workers with high-deductible health plans now comprise 13 percent of the market in Virginia.

The information is available at http://www.vhi.org/transparency

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