The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require that all hospitals publish their chargemaster effective January 1, 2019. The chargemaster is the comprehensive list of charges for each inpatient and outpatient service or item provided by a hospital – each test, exam, surgical procedure, room charge, etc.
As part of Christiana Care’s commitment to transparency, and to ensure that our patients have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their care, Christiana Care has developed a price-transparency website that exceeds the requirements put forth by CMS. The website launched today at https://billing.christianacare.org/transparency.
“Christiana Care Health System delivers exceptional value, providing high-quality, safe care at costs that are generally much lower than the other comparable hospitals in the Philadelphia region,” said Rob McMurray, MBA, CPA, Christiana Care’s chief financial officer. “As one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals as rated by Healthgrades and a U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital, we are proud of the exceptional care that our caregivers provide every day. Our high level of service is delivered with a strong commitment to our community to ensure that health care is both effective and affordable.”
Because hospitals are paid based on contracted rates negotiated with insurers for the services they provide, and because most people pay for health care through a co-pay with their insurer, chargemaster information by itself is not particularly helpful for patients to estimate what health care services are going to cost them out of their own pocket. The charges listed in the chargemaster are generally not the amount patients pay.
To help consumers understand this information in context, the website includes substantial explanatory information and a frequently-asked-questions section. Additionally, Christiana Care’s billing customer service team is available to provide individual quotes and information to patients at 302-623-7440.