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Here Are Some Average Costs For Common Medical Procedures in Kentucky

Phalinn Ooi/Creative Commons

A national health care non-profit recently launched an online price transparency tool that may help people determine the cost of their next medical procedure.

Guroo.com was launched by the Health Care Cost Institute to provide national, state and local cost information for common health conditions and services.

Currently, people can search 70 different conditions and procedures on the website. Cost information includes the national average as well as a person's state and city averages.

Kentucky was below the national average for several services; costs in the Louisville metro area were even lower.

With many Kentucky adults enrolling in health insurance for the first time, they are in search of a primary care physician. Here's what Kentuckians can expect as a new patient:

Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men and women in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Cancer Consortium. With early detection, the five-year survival rate for the disease is more than 90 percent and at least 60 percent of colon cancer deaths could be prevented with regular screenings. So, how much is a colonoscopy?

David Newman, executive director of HCCI, said the biggest difference between Guroo and other price transparency tools is the amount of information the estimates are based on.

The estimates are based on commercial claims data for more than 40 million Americans insured through Aetna, United, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and Assurant Health. HCCI was legally organized by four of those insurers (except Assurant Health) so that a single non-profit would hold all of the data to support public reporting and research.

Newman said the estimates are reference prices for people who don't have insurance or people who are in a high-deductible health plan. He said the institute plans to launch another version of Guroo that will allow consumers to see their actual out-of-pocket costs for different providers based on their health insurance plan if their insurer partners with HCCI.

"Our hope is that these two websites collectively will provide a lot of  price transparency information to consumers in most places in the country," Newman said.

Newman said price and quality information is needed to allow consumers to make good decisions when it comes to health care. He said it will take time for providers and consumers to openly talk about price transparency.

"Consumers need to feel comfortable engaging providers around these issues of price and quality. Providers need to be encouraging consumers to have those discussions with them," he said.

Here are a few more estimates from the website: