CHARLOTTE, NC – It's now easier to estimate what your hospital bill might add up to.
Since the start of the new year, a federal rule requires all hospitals to post prices for procedures online. That doesn't include what health insurance covers.
"I do think it's good for the hospitals to have this information out there,” says Julieanne Taylor, a lawyer and health insurance navigator with the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy. “The consumers know that without health insurance this is how much they're going to pay, but if they have that health insurance and they're willing to pay for that every month, they're going to be covered once they go to their provider. "
A statement, Melonie O’Connell, Novant Health’s senior director of pricing strategy says:
“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.”
To view the standard charges list for a facility, patients can visit www.novanthealth.org, choose a facility listed under “Our locations,” then hover over “Patients & Visitors” and select “Billing & insurance.” Once there, scroll to the bottom of the page and see “___________ Medical Center standard charges.”
Atrium Health says: “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.”
Atrium has a list of standard charges available here.