Hospitals to list procedure prices starting Jan. 1; will it help patients?

Posted at 3:33 PM, Dec 27, 2018

Starting January 1, the prices hospitals charge for service will now have to be listed. Just like you see at a restaurant or salon, hospitals will offer up their own menu of services, with the prices of the procedures right next to them.

"Transparency helps everybody,” says Kevin Flynn, with Health Advocates. “It eliminates fraud. It eliminates waste."

Flynn says although it seems great, the hospital prices can be deceiving.

"But for you and me, the person on the street, it doesn't mean a whole lot, Flynn explains.

"While the hospital charges a certain price, ultimately it's your insurance company that's setting everything."

Flynn says to keep in mind the prices listed don't include you using insurance, co-pays or deductibles.

Companies such as Healthcare Bluebook and Fair Price show patients the average in network price of procedures. They compile patients claims data from all over.

"What the hospital charges is one thing,” Flynn says. “What the insurance company actually pays is completely different.”

So, the next time you need to get a procedure , Flynn recommends calling your insurance company.

"It's much better to talk to your insurance company before you go and know approximately what you are going to pay, as opposed to just looking up online of this new thing seeing what the hospital charges," Flynn says.