Detroit Free Press: Hospitals Now Required to List Prices Online for Every Medical Procedure, Service

Posted on January 04, 2019

Jim LeeIn a Jan. 3 Detroit Free Press article, Jim Lee, MHA vice president of data policy and analytics, spoke to reporter J.C. Reindl about a new mandate that requires hospitals to post chargemasters online.

The chargemaster is a comprehensive list of billing codes and prices for every item, service or procedure provided by a hospital. Chargemasters include thousands of billing codes, and each hospital develops its own listing based on a number of factors unique to its patients, services and organization. Prices listed in the chargemaster may vary from hospital-to-hospital and may not reflect what a patient will ultimately pay. Different patients have different insurance plans and different medical needs, and complex negotiations take place between hospitals and insurance companies to determine the reimbursement amount required from the patient, the insurance company or other responsible parties.

Lee and other healthcare experts expressed concern about whether this mandate will assist many patients or contain ever-rising health care costs, according to the article. 

"The chargemaster itself is essentially the sticker price that nobody pays," said Lee. "It is the starting point or floor for pricing."

Michigan hospitals share cost information with patients every day. The best way for any patient to get meaningful price information is to contact the hospital with their specific treatment needs. Every patient, and every patient’s needs and complications, is different and requires individual attention. 

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  • Detroit Free Press: Hospitals Now Required to List Prices Online for Every Medical Procedure, Service

Tags: price transparency, Jim Lee, Detroit Free Press

Posted in: MHA In The News

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