Report: Massive cost differences persist among health care providers in Minn.

The same clinic visit or procedure can have a drastically different price tag in Minnesota depending on your health care provider, a new survey found.

Minnesota Community Measurement on Tuesday released its third-annual review of cost data from more than 1.5 million insurance claims, and it showed there are still big cost differences from provider to provider around the state.

For example, a strep test can cost $8 or $101, depending on the provider. A knee MRI cost some people as little as $216, while others were billed $3,904, according to the review.

Consumers with high co-pays and deductibles can wind up shouldering much of that cost.

Higher deductibles and copays are driving the trend, said Jim Chase, president of Minnesota Community Measurement.

One goal of the study is to show providers how their prices compare to the competition, and identify where they can reduce what they're charging, Chase said.

It's also aimed at showing consumers what the monthly cost of care for an average patient is at a particular provider.

"You can't always predict what you're going to need next month," Chase said, "and you want to have a regular relationship with a medical group."

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