If you take a look at the websites of hospitals across the nation you’ll find new information on the services they provide. A new federal law requires all hospitals to post prices on their websites.
The law went into effect Jan. 1. Huntsville Hospital didn’t have the price list posted until Jan. 4. and finding those prices will take some digging.
There are 10 hospitals under the Huntsville Hospital umbrella and beginning Friday, they all have a price list posted on their individual websites.
“CMS which is the agency which oversees healthcare in the nation, requires hospitals to post prices, so that patients could better understand their financial liability, if they receive care and also to compare prices across facilities,” explained Burr Ingram, Vice President of Communications for Huntsville Hospital.
WZDX went on Huntsville Hospital’s website Friday and it took some clicking around to find the price list. When we did find it, the list was huge.
“You have to know what you’re looking for when you go on these websites and it may be that you’re able to, from your physician, to find out what he/she may be doing in specifics. What he will require,” said Ingram.
The new law is meant to help you make a more informed decision on medical treatment, but Huntsville Hospital says the price list does not reflect what you’ll actually be paying.
“Payments in healthcare are insurance driven and driven by the federal government as well, through Medicare. So, what you see posted are charges that no one pays or very few pay,” he explained.
The hospital recommends talking to your insurance provider, to find out what your hospital bill will be.
“Find out what your out of pocket costs are, in order to really understand your liability and to compare what hospitals are paid on a particular procedure,” Ingram added.
If you’re interested in doing a price comparison between hospitals, you can ask your doctor for a medical code to help with your search.