A City’s Competitive Edge: Cheap Colonoscopies!

NashColonA New York Times piece Sunday on the absurdly high price of health care in the U.S. compared to other countries zeroed in on everyone’s favorite medical intervention — the colonoscopy — as a particularly compelling example. We learn in the piece that colonoscopies cost a lot more in the U.S. than in other developed nations, but we also learn that the cost varies widely within the U.S.

Nashville, it turns out, is clearly a destination of choice for the price-conscious colonoscopy chopper. An analysis by Healthcare Blue Book looking at the highest amount paid for the procedure shows Nashville among the lowest of various metropolitan areas examined. Compared to our number, the upper bound price is more than double in Atlanta, Chicago and Denver, and more than triple in Austin. Only Baltimore is lower, and while they do also overachieve as a city in the all-important crab cake category, let’s face it … who really wants to live in Baltimore?

The map tells the story:

Colonoscopy Map

Each number is the highest amount paid for a colonoscopy in that metropolitan area.
Source: The New York Times

Finally, something Nashville does better than Austin! But can we leverage this competitive advantage? Colonoscopy tourism!

A version of this post appears on the Nashville Scene‘s Pith in the Wind blog.


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