UnitedHealth: Average of $684 saved when shifting common procedures outside of hospital

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Moving routine procedures like colonoscopies and cataract removals away from a hospital outpatient department and to an ambulatory surgery center can save an average of $684 per procedure, UnitedHealth Group said in a report released Sept. 8.

UnitedHealth found that the average price of common procedures in a hospital setting was $7,716 in 2019, or 144 percent more than the same procedures in an ASC.

UnitedHealth came to its conclusions by analyzing claims for the locations and prices for common procedures during a 12-month period that ended February 2020. The data comprised commercially insured individuals with employer coverage.

The payer has been advocating for shifting more procedures from hospital settings into lower-cost ASCs, a strategy outlined in its recent sustainability report

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