The cost of birth-control pills and devices has been in the news a lot lately. But we haven’t seen a lot about the cost of vasectomies.
In our continuing effort to bring transparency to the health-care marketplace, we did a little reporting on the price of a vasectomy, spurred by the news that doctors have been selling vasectomies using the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament as a hook, according to a story in USA Today by Kim Painter.
“The idea: Men time the surgery so that they can combine recovery with a little quality TV sports time. Or, as one Virginia clinic puts it in promotional materials: ”Spend three days on the couch watching hoops with your wife’s approval,” Painter writes. “News outlets across the country have been reporting similar promotions since at least 2008, when a clinic in Oregon first publicized its “Snip City” March Madness event. This year, that clinic is providing patients who come in during the tournament with a special recovery kit that includes a T-shirt, 3D glasses, a copy of Sports Illustrated and a cooler. A clinic in Cape Cod, Mass., is throwing in a pizza — or “or pie for the sterile guy,” as The Cape Cod Times says.
The cost of a vasectomy under normal circumstances — not the “special” rate? Planned Parenthood’s vasectomy page says: “Nationwide, the cost of a vasectomy ranges from $350–$1,000, including the follow-up sperm count. (Sterilization for women costs up to six times as much.) Some clinics and doctors use a sliding scale according to income.
The Urology Team, a Texas practice, has joined the party by offering a vasectomy connected to the NCAA tournament or Masters, with the promotional lines for “Vas Madness” and “the Vasters.” They offer a patient voucher, with a special price of $595.