Local hospitals discuss new price transparency requirement

Local hospitals discuss new price transparency requirement
Local hospitals help explain the new price transparency requirement.

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services dealing with prices went into effect for all hospitals this year.

The ruling was approved in April 2018 for price transparency and it went into effect on the first of this year.

The new rule requires hospitals to post their standard charges online for consumers to see.

And while both St. Bernards and NEA Baptist have had this information online for several years now, they want patients to know what it means.

“Charges for hospitals and health systems are very complex, healthcare is very complex,” said NEA Baptist CEO and Administrator Brad Parsons.

The standard charge is a price estimate for certain services hospitals offer, but St. Bernards CFO Ben Barylske said it doesn’t factor in insurance or other variables.

“You have co-pays, deductibles, you might even have a high deductible insurance plan. All those weigh in to what you’ll pay as a patient,” said Barylske.

Price transparency is aimed at helping consumers better understand what they're paying for and why, and our local hospitals agree that it's a step in the right direction.

“It’s a start, price transparency is a start and it’s been a hot topic for many, many years,” said Barylske.

Officials with both hospitals stressed that the standard price you see online isn’t the price you pay, it all depends on your insurance plan.

The standard price is just there to help consumers get an idea of the price for that service.

“We think informed consumers are a real benefit to the healthcare system,” said Parsons.

If you are wanting a more accurate estimate or have questions about price transparency, you should call your hospital’s business office.

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