Penn State Health posts price lists online

Penn State Health has published searchable records of the charges for the cost of care at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and St. Joseph Medical Center as part of a new federal rule that went into effect on Jan. 1. The mandate by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires all hospitals to publish standard price lists ­- known as “chargemaster price lists” – for thousands of procedures, tests, pharmaceutical drugs and medical supplies.

While each site lists baseline amounts charged for services, those figures usually do not reflect the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by patients, which can be affected by many other factors.

Dan Angel, FHFMA, vice president for revenue cycle Penn State Health, said the organization welcomes transparency, but the prices will not include an accurate estimate of the cost of care.

“We want to make sure that our patients obtain an accurate assessment of our fees so they can make the best decisions for their health care needs,” he said. “We believe in transparency, but we do not feel simply posting the chargemaster alone will be useful to the consumer because anyone with or without insurance will pay less than the posted charges. Many factors play into differences in charges medical training programs.”

Penn State Health encourages patients seeking a clearer picture of the costs of their care to contact financial navigators, who are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 888-835-5850.

Patients should have the following information available when calling:

  • Health insurance information
  • Procedure (CPT) code or description of medical procedure – the CPT code is a five-digit code used by all hospitals, physicians and insurance companies to identify a type of service or procedure.
January 7, 2019 Penn State Health iNews

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