It’s a trend that’s been growing across the country. Hospitals listing prices for procedures on their websites. Some states are even mandating it. While New York isn’t one of them, handful of hospitals across the state are making their prices public.
“We started this process in the fall of last year, so it’s about a nine month probably start to finish project. We did a lot of research. We did a lot of research with other hospitals, with what our government is looking at to try to get the best product out there for our patients,” said Kelli Harris, the chief financial officer for Crouse Hospital.
At Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, for example, you can search costs of common procedures on their website. The price only includes the hospital stay, supplies, and OR time. It does not include your doctors’ fees. It then gives you how many times that procedure was performed in the last year and the average price patients paid.
“There are a lot more insurance plans that have higher deductibles, high co-pays, high patient responsibility. So in the future, patients will shop for their insurance. When they’re responsible for more of that coverage, they’re going to start shopping around for their care,” said Harris.
While the hospital prices have only been posted online for a few weeks, there has already been an overwhelmingly positive response from patients and hospital administrators say the sky’s the limit when it comes to posting all this online.
“There are a number of things that we’ve already thought of since we’ve launched the website that we could make enhancements for. Quality is one of them. It would be nice if we could incorporate things into the website that would help to reach out to the physicians office or at least have a checklist for patients. Say, ‘okay, you’re coming in for a baby, make sure to contact your OB-GYN for their fee,'” said Harris.
Administrators encourage people to research quality in addition to prices.