HOPDs charge up to 58% more than ASCs

The cost of common medical procedures are as much as 58 percent more expensive when performed in hospital outpatient departments compared with ASCs or physicians' offices, according to an analysis by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. 

Blue Health Intelligence — BCBS' healthcare data analytics company — analyzed national claims data for six common outpatient procedures among 133 million BCBS members from 2017 to 2022. 

The analysis found that costs for all six procedures were "substantially higher" when performed in HOPDs — leading to a higher cost for consumers.

Here are five more key comparisons:

1. Colonoscopy screenings cost 32 percent more in HOPDs than at ASCs and double than when performed in a physician's office.

2. Diagnostic colonoscopies cost 58 percent more in an HOPD than in an ASC.

3. Cataract surgery costs 56 percent more in an HOPD than in an ASC.

4. Ear tympanostomies cost 52 percent more in an HOPD than when performed in an ASC.

5. For most of the procedures, the difference in costs grew faster over time in HOPDs than in ASC or office settings.

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