What measurement means for the average cost of procedures, tests and services

If you are facing an illness, a scheduled procedure or simply trying to determine your health care budget, costs can be a major - and confusing - concern.

MNHealthScores reports statewide and medical group average costs for the 85 most comon medical procedures and services in Minnesota. They were selected based on the number of procedures done, consumer interest and if they are most often done in a clinic rather than a hospital. The list of procedures, tests and services includes office visits, gastrointestinal procedures, imaging, laboratory services, medical and mental health services, OB/GYN and surgical procedures for commercially-insured patients.

The 2015 results include procedure costs at 201 medical groups in Minnesota, as well as neighboring communities in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. T

To be included for any given procedure, medical groups had to have at least 50 claims for the procedure, test or service across at least three health plans to ensure accuracy.

All patients are included in the statewide averages, including those who were seen at groups that were not reported by medical group due to having less than 50 claims.

higher cost doesn't always mean higher quality

Comparing information about costs and care quality, along with patient experience will help you focus on options that offer the highest value for you and your family.

Use the reports on MNHealthScores to compare clinics, medical groups and hospitals on their performance, see how patients rated their care experience, and look up the costs of specific procedures and services, based on what’s most important to you and your family.

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Want more information about how to get the most value for your health care dollars? Visit Managing Costs for links to recommended resources and websites.

Looking for information about overall health care costs? Learn more about how MNHealthScores reports on the total cost of health care.

How we calculate the measure

The information is based on 2014 claims data from the four health plans in Minnesota with the largest commercially-insured populations: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners, Medica and PreferredOne.