U.S. Health Care Price Index
October 2023

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

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.

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.

In October, the average cash price of a primary care telehealth appointment in the United States, with a doctor or nurse practitioner, was $44.80. Kansas was the most affordable state in which to book a visit ($40.90), and Hawaii was the most expensive ($59.74). All regions of the country paid below average for primary care appointments.

Mental health visits in October averaged $46.45 across the country. Most affordable mental health consults that month were found in Washington, D.C. ($37.00), New Hampshire ($38.50) and Maine ($38.50); states paying the highest were New Jersey ($61.73) and Washington ($61.38).

Americans who paid cash for a prescription refill appointment paid an average of $44.40 in October. Patients in Vermont ($38.20) and Maryland ($40.29) paid the least for an appointment. Highest prices were found in Mississippi ($54.76) and Alabama ($53.95).

The data comes from Sesame, one of the largest cash-pay health services marketplaces in the United States. It covers the thousands of health care 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 November 2023.

Media members can reach out to our press team at press@sesamecare.com for questions, comments, interviews or custom data sets.
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