Hospitals release price lists, warn against sticker shock
January 04, 2019 07:37 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - From Band-Aids to biopsies, hospitals nationwide are now required to post the prices of all items and services they provide online.
“So this is the latest regulatory rollout of ACA law that requires transparency around hospital pricing,” Jeff Dye, President and CEO of the New Mexico Hospital Association said.
The law went into effect Jan. 1. The lists must be in a format that can be downloaded to your computer, like an Excel spreadsheet, and updated every year. The goal, Dye said, being patients have a better idea how much they’ll pay before heading in for care, thus making more informed decisions.
“The information is pretty straightforward, but it does take some understanding as to what the terminology is, for sure,” Dye said.
But terminology, not the only concern. Hospitals warn: be cautious. The prices you see likely won't be what you pay after insurance, deductibles and in some cases charity.
“So it’s helpful, but it’s one piece. And one of the things that it doesn't really get is that most people will want to know is what is their out of pocket cost,” Dye said.
And health officials fear that sticker shock could cause some people to put off a necessary procedure.
“Certainly all hospitals have financial assistance programs and can help patients understand what their out of pocket cost would be. So just looking at a charge is not a good indicator,” Dye said.
You can find the charge masters for our area’s largest hospital’s here:
Lovelace Regional Medical Center: https://lovelace.com/billing-inquires
Updated: January 04, 2019 07:37 AM
Created: January 04, 2019 07:15 AM
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