Interactive Map Shows Prices Vary By Service Across Colorado

An interactive map is now available from the Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) providing communities across Colorado with price comparison information for common health care services. The accompanying infographic shows the variation in prices for common health care services across regions, and that the regions with the highest and lowest prices are not consistent when comparing services.

The map illustrates regional variation for 11 common services across the nine Division of Insurance geographic rating areas. Understanding price variation across these regions is essential because cost of care plays an important role in setting premiums for people who live in those areas. Equipped with a deeper understanding of how health care prices vary, communities, employers, policy-makers and other stakeholders can better understand what is driving premiums and identify solutions to lower costs.

No one region is consistently high or low for all of the procedures, although some regions stand out for several of the services. For example, the West region is the highest with respect to prices for five procedures – breast biopsy, C-section, hip replacement, knee arthroscopy and tonsillectomy. In contrast, the Boulder region has the lowest prices for three of the services – gall bladder surgery, hip replacement and knee replacement. The East region is unique in that it is highest for cataract surgery, colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy, but also has the lowest prices in vaginal delivery.

The data is based on 2017 claims information in the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD) from over 40 commercial health insurance payers. Prices reflect payments made for the full episode of care (pre-, during, and post-). Named hospital and ambulatory surgery center prices for these services, along with patient experience ratings are also available on the Shop for Care page.

“Providing this new view of the episode prices at the DOI region can help inform many of the conversations happening at the employer, legislative, provider and community-level across the state,” states Ana English, President and CEO of CIVHC. “While it’s important for patients to have the ability to shop for care on an individual facility basis, simultaneously as a state, we must continue to work together using data to understand how we can drive down cost and variation across the system as a whole.”



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