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January 5, 2018 - TCO

TCO continues discussion on price transparency

Additional information on Minnesota Department of Health report:

Golden Valley, MN (January 5, 2018) – This week, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) released a report that charted the differentiating costs for certain procedures across hospitals.

This report is certainly a difficult project and one that MDH should be applauded for pursuing — after all, tracking and discovering such costs is a complicated task given the nature of our health care landscape and the multiple variables.

Naturally, this study may have caused questions regarding how TCO administers and determines costs for procedures. We felt it was necessary to address the report to provide clarity to eliminate confusion and further educate people about the costs of TCO procedures. TCO values each of our patients and we strive to support and explain our billing process to help everyone understand the costs for their care to eliminate the frustration.

One key point to underscore regarding the MDH report is the analysis only tracks the costs at the facility where the procedure was performed—meaning a combination of costs associated with a procedure were not addressed or accounted for in the study. As a result, the figures published provide only one “line item” of multiple procedure elements. To describe it in non-health care terms: it shows the costs of the tires, but not for the total vehicle.

This challenge of providing a comprehensive, bundled cost of a procedure is what led TCO to create our EXCEL program. EXCEL, now in its fifth year, delivers and communicates to patients a transparent cost that bundles the myriad of components that comprise a procedure, primarily focused on knee, hip, shoulder, ankle total joint replacements and certain spine procedures. For example, a Total Knee Replacement done in the TCO EXCEL program costs $23,000.

TCO’s goal with EXCEL was to create not only a program that provides the highest quality of specialized care and recovery, but to provide the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand billing summary up front to our patients. EXCEL provides a bundle cost that includes everything — the physician, anesthesia and facility fees, therapy, X-rays and much more, depending on the procedure.

Why did we do this? Because we know patients don’t have the time or energy to call every surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse and physical therapist in town to get a quote.

We are very proud of how our patients have embraced the EXCEL program. To-date, more than 2,000 people have gone through the EXCEL surgery and rehabilitation process and we are enthused about its results — we invite you to read about the success stories, learn more about the program and our bundled packages – visit

For more information, please contact TCO’s Director of Marketing, Heather Lang, at (952) 847-4001 or [email protected] or TCO’s PR representative, One Simple Plan’s Nathan Bowie, at (612) 677-2250 or [email protected]. 

About Twin Cities Orthopedics 

Twin Cities Orthopedics is an all-inclusive orthopedic, sports medicine and wellness provider. For more than 75 years, TCO has proudly provided a full spectrum of orthopedic care devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of injuries and conditions that affect the body’s muscles, joints and bones. TCO’s expertise includes services such as imaging, outpatient care, orthotics and prosthetics, and custom research based sports performance programs.

TCO’s integrated team led by 114 orthopedic physicians strive to provide superior quality care for people of all ages and abilities at 39 state-of-the-art facilities in the Twin Cities and at six orthopedic urgent care clinics. Visit to learn more.