Medical tourism has become a multi-billion dollar business over the past decade, with estimates ranging as high as 1.2 million Americans set to journey overseas this year in order to find the best prices on surgical procedures. Now a new analysis of medical claims data from Castlight Health suggests you might be wise to travel within the borders of the U.S. when seeking common medical services. Using historical prices and analytics, Castlight’s results show how much prices vary for the same services across cities — and also within them. “When it comes to choosing a healthcare provider, the consumer experience is akin to shopping at a store without any prices,” note the authors of the survey.
The four every-day medical services examined were: preventive primary care visit, lipid panel, head/brain CT scan, and lower back MRI. See for yourself the difference in prices for a visit to a primary care physician:
And here is a breakdown of the top 30 most expensive cities for a primary care visit:
This map indicates the range of prices for a CT scan:
This chart shows the top 30 most expensive cities for a CT scan:
This map shows the range of prices for an MRI scan:
Here, you can see the top 30 most expensive cities for an MRI scan:
Here is the map showing the range of prices for a lipid panel: