Knoxville hospitals share prices of services, per new federal rule

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COVER PHOTO_KNOXVILLE HOSPTIALS LIST PRICES PER FEDERAL RULE_pixabay_0102_1546461090166.jpg.jpg

Medical pricing and billing is (sort of) explained as the new federal ruling takes effect now requiring all hospitals to share their costs for services and procedures – even down to the cost of oxygen per hour, for some. 

Conforming with the new federal rule that all hospitals nationwide post their pricing information for services online, The University of Tennessee Medical Center, Tennova Healthcare, Parkwest Medical Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital have made their pricing information available. 

    MORE | Hospital prices are going public in 2019

The pricing information page for UT Medical Center can be found under the Home page’s “Patients and Visitors” page tab, underneath that page’s “Going Home” page, then underneath the “Insurance and Billing” category. 

UT Medical Center notes a disclaimer for their pricing information, stating the listing is of their “standard charges” that are the gross charges for a medical service of procedure. 

“They are not the amounts you will be expected to pay,” the statement reads. “Patients’ actual costs are determined by the price agreements between UT Medical Center and insurance companies along with the patients’ health plan benefits.” 

Uninsured patients receive discounted charges that comply with state and federal requirements, UT Medical Center stated. 

Links to the hospital’s pricing for DRGs (diagnosis-related groups) are shared on the hospital’s page, with an explanation as to what DRGs are and how they apply to the hospital’s billing procedure. 

Once the link is clicked for the viewing UT Medical Center’s “standard charge” listing, a File Disclaimer pops up, and one has to check the ‘I Agree’ box to view it. 

For Tennova Healthcare, the pricing information can be found on the hospital network’s main web page, underneath the “Patients & Visitors” page, then “Financial Information” page, then the “Pricing Information” tab. 

Tennova shares its prices with a statement, noting that its “healthcare billing and insurance is complex and varies based on your insurance plan. We know patients are most interested in understanding how much they will pay out of pocket.” 

The statement also reads that Tennova team members are available to help patients understand their health insurance benefits and their share of financial responsibility for services provided. 

Toward the bottom of the web page, there is a series of chargemaster lists for all Tennova’s hospitals, each have a link to its pricing list that opens into a Microsoft Excel document. 

For Parkwest Medical and Fort Sanders Regional, which are both Covenant Health, their pages describing their pricing information are titled, “Price Transparency” and are found on each hospital’s home page.

Both price transparency pages have disclaimers regarding the new federal ruling, and that the prices listed are gross prices and “are not the amounts patients with or without insurance pay, or that Medicare or other Federal and commercial payers pay.”

Links to download the standard charge listings are on the pricing web pages, and open into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. 

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has their pricing for services available online through its home page, then “Patients & Visitors” page, then on the final, “Health Insurance” and billing page. 

Towards the bottom of that web page, there is a disclaimer regarding the hospital’s “Charge Master:” 

“We are providing this information based on Federal Guidelines. This does not reflect what you will pay for services. Please contact our office if you have additional questions regarding charges,” the statement reads. 

A link to the downloadable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet lists the pricing. 

More information regarding the new federal ruling can be found on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services page here

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