Reduce your hospital “sticker shock”
Sometimes you can’t avoid going to the hospital, but you can try to be prepared before you go. Understand which hospitals are in your insurance plan’s network, know the details of your plan’s cost-sharing arrangement and if uninsured, begin to investigate the financial aid options at your local hospital.
Why is it important, before going to the hospital, to know the ins and outs of your health coverage? Because there is huge variation between what different hospitals charge for similar procedures in our state.
In October, we issued a report shining a light on hospital “sticker price” variation. Our hope is that consumers and employers will read the report and see that it’s important to understand the financial risk they might face when entering the health care system.
But this report is only the first step toward true price transparency. A recent editorial in The Seattle Times asserted, “consumers are paying more out-of-pocket for medical costs, with no guarantee of better outcomes. They have a right to know the cost of services before they seek care.” Our state needs cost and quality health information presented publicly, so we can all be better stewards of our own health care.
- New report on hospital sticker prices reveals tremendous variation among hospitals for similar procedures and treatments [press release]
- Hospital sticker shock: A report on hospital sticker price variation in Washington state [report]
- With huge variability in hospital prices, patients must beware [The Seattle Times]
Download the infographic.
Published: November 5, 2014