These cities are all over the map—and so are their medical prices.
A new study of four common, insurance-paid health services in the 30 largest U.S. cities found not only that those prices vary significantly between those cities, but that there were also radical differences in the prices for the same service within a given city.
In Dallas, for example, a lipid panel, a test for cholesterol levels, could cost anywhere from $15 to $343—a whopping 23-times more than the least-expensive test, according to the survey by Castlight Health Services.
A CT head/brain scan in Philadelphia could cost $264 or as much as 12-times that amount— $3,271, according the survey, which examined the prices of "in-network" providers in employer-based health insurance plans. In-network providers are, as a rule, less expensive for participants in a plan to use than out-of-network providers.
But "staying 'in-network' does not guarantee low-cost," the study said.