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Online tool compares hospital rates

Interested to know how the cost of your recent total knee replacement at Douglas County Hospital (DCH) compares to other Minnesota hospitals?

It's easy to find out.

Simply log onto the Minnesota Hospital Price Check Web site at and search for DCH.

At all regional hospitals, the average charge per day following a major joint replacement is $7,108; at Douglas County it's $4,733.

"In our general opinion, we're in favor of it," said hospital administrator Bill Flaig of the online tool. "The more transparent we can be, the better."

DCH ranks favorably on all procedures to regional and similarly sized hospitals.

"We were happy to see that we were in the range of other Minnesota hospitals," said Margaret Kalina, hospital director of patient services.

The online comparison tool isn't limited to joint replacements; consumers can also search by other categories, including cardiology, obstetrics and urology, among several others.

Categories can be further narrowed as well. Under obstetrics, for example, consumers can search costs for Caesarians or normal delivery.

The hospital is required by Minnesota law to submit pricing information.