Hospitals to post charges online for standard services

The man was airlifted to Blake Medical Center in Manatee County with second and third-degree burns. (File photo via Pixabay)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Starting on New Year's Day, hospitals across the country will be required to post the prices for their standard services online.

This move is supposed to help promote transparency, but leaders at Novant Health said this isn't the best way to achieve that.

In a statement, financial staff at the hospital said health care costs are not one-size-fits-all. Posting prices will not include factors like health insurance coverage or deductibles.

Novant suggests patients speak with their financial navigator to get a more accurate estimate.

Last week, we also heard from officials at Atrium Health on the new rule.

Atrium also recommends patients speak with their provider to get a better look at out-of-pocket costs.

Statement from Novant Health on new price posting requirement: 

“While Novant Health supports price transparency, we do not believe posting standard hospital charges is the best way to achieve this for our patients. Due to differentiating factors, such as health insurance coverage, deductibles and out of pocket maximums, healthcare costs are simply not one-size-fits-all. We recommend patients speak with our financial navigators who take these factors into account in order to provide a more accurate estimate of charges they may incur. This, we believe, is a more effective way for patients to understand their individualized healthcare costs. To receive a personalized estimate of your healthcare costs, call 888-277-3901 in North Carolina and 703-369-8020 in Virginia.”

Statement from Atrium Health on new price posting requirement: 

At Atrium Health, we understand that healthcare can be an unexpected expense and cost can be a deciding factor for many people. We fully support pricing transparency and tools that help patients evaluate what care is best for them. It is important to note that the charges posted on our website on January 1 may not accurately reflect what a patient pays out-of-pocket. Since the actual amount paid is based on many factors, we encourage all patients to talk with their care and insurance plan provider to get a complete picture of what their cost will be. Charges among healthcare providers vary widely and ours reflect the unique level of clinical expertise offered in services such as Levine Cancer Institute, Levine Children’s Hospital and other world class services. We will continue to assist our patients at Atrium Health to make the most informed healthcare decision for their specific situation, including offering financial assistance for those experiencing hardship.

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