U.S. Health Care Price Index
December 2022

The U.S. Health Care Price Index documents the cash price of medical appointments – including primary care, mental health, COVID care and more – state-by-state on a monthly basis.

Access to the full database by state and region, as well as by visit type, is available for analysis below.


U.S. health care price index

What is the U.S. health care price index?

The U.S. Health Care Price Index (USHPI) is the first national resource to publicly document the price of cash-pay medical care in America.

It features real pricing data for routine medical services in all 50 states – from primary care and mental health to women’s health and more - with additional prices and specialties to be added over time. In addition to regional and state comparisons, the USHPI tracks price variance and market trends on a monthly basis.

Until now, pricing data for healthcare services has been out-of-reach; now, just like price databases for commodities like gasoline, air travel and insurance, there is a database for understanding the recent cash price of a COVID screening visit, urgent care and many other medical prices in any state or region.

What is the cash price of medical care?

Simply put, the cash price is what a doctor or health care provider charges a consumer when a third-party payer - like insurance or a governmental entity - is not involved in the transaction.

This could be because a patient does not have insurance, is underinsured or chooses to pay their provider directly, without involving a middleman.

What are examples of recent cash prices?

In December, the average cash price of a primary care telehealth appointment in the United States, with a doctor or nurse practitioner, was $41.40. Texas was the most affordable state in which to book a visit ($37.14), and Louisiana was the most expensive at $56.10. Regionally, western, mid-Atlantic and southern states paid below average for primary care appointments, whereas patients in the Northeast and Midwest saw higher than average prices.

Americans who paid cash for a prescription refill appointment paid an average of $40.85 in December.

COVID screenings in December averaged $44.08 nationally. Most affordable COVID appointments in December were found in Florida and Colorado at $36.67 and $38.00, respectively; states paying the highest were Illinois ($53) and Connecticut ($100).

What is the methodology used to collect the data?

The data comes from https://sesamecare.com, one of the largest cash-pay health care marketplaces in the United States. It covers the thousands of healthcare providers resident in the marketplace that charge cash prices for their services. Sesame analyzed thousands of primary care and specialty care appointments made on its platform, leveraging pricing data for patient appointments that occurred during December 2022.

I am a reporter and am interested in more information. Who can I contact?

Media members can reach out to Liz Murphy at liz.murphy@sesamecare.com for questions, comments, interviews or custom data sets.
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