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Free online guide offers help on outpatient surgery choices

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Richmond-based Virginia Health Information has released its free, online “Consumer Guide to Outpatient Procedures” to help state residents learn more about outpatient procedures.

Outpatient procedures account for a growing number of surgeries in Virginia.

Located at the g,uide describes why a procedure may be needed, suggests questions to ask doctors and offers information to help patients compare and select where to have procedures performed.

VHI gathered outpatient procedure information from ambulatory surgical centers, doctors’ offices and hospital outpatient departments. 

Its website includes information on how often health-care providers perform certain procedures and their charges. 

For some procedure groups, VHI lists the average statewide amount that health insurance companies approve for payment. 

The guide includes 10 commonly performed diagnostic and surgical procedure groups:
•                  Breast surgery
•                  Colonoscopy
•                  Facial surgery
•                  Gall bladder removal
•                  General laparoscopic procedures

•                  Hernia repair
•                  Hysterectomy
•                  Knee surgery
•                  Liposuction
•                  Gynecological procedures

Last year, more than 300,000 outpatient surgeries were reported for the procedure groups, up 1.4 percent from 2012. 

VHI is a nonprofit organization established by the General Assembly offering health information to businesses, consumers, the state government and health insurance companies.

It publishes reports and consumer guides on health insurance, hospitals, HMOs, nursing facilities, physicians and other topics.

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