Public View of Charges
The Requirement for Transparency of Hospital Charges Rule is intended to promote transparency for patients to understand their potential financial liability for services obtained at our hospital and to allow comparison for similar services across hospitals. However, hospital charge masters are lengthy and complex documents and do not provide information at a level conducive for this purpose. Requesting a pricing estimate for specific services a patient is seeking to have performed at the hospital is therefore the recommended option for patients to gain a better understanding of their financial responsibility.
Estimates/Financial Assistance: Many patients that will seek hospital charge information are interested in knowing what their out-of-pocket financial responsibility will be. This is an opportunity to have important conversations regarding finances. Those with health insurance can be directed to contact their health plan for specific financial obligations. Those without health insurance should be provided information related to the hospital’s financial assistance policy, the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act and any other discounts (e.g. prompt pay) that could be applied.
Hospital charges are the amounts set before any discounts. Hospitals are required by the federal government to utilize uniform charges as the starting point for all bills. Charges are based on what type of care was provided and can differ from patient to patient for the same service depending on any complications or different treatment provided due to the patient’s health. Therefore, actual charges for a specific patient may differ from the listed standard charges.
Requests for specific price estimates or assistance with navigating the chargemaster should be directed to patient financial services at 618-327-2213. In person appointments may be scheduled if requested or needed.