Hospitals across eastern shore and nation go public with prices

BERLIN, MD. – With the new year comes a new change for hospitals across the nation and right here on the eastern shore after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services required health care organizations to provide pricing information on procedures and services to the public by January 1st.

“That’s a good idea, long overdue,” said one resident Paul Chambers.

According to officials, the requirement was introduced to health care providers back in August and they were given close to five months to make the changes.

“We spent a lot of the time making sure that patients would be able to understand what we were putting out there so we modified our website ,” said Finance Vice President for the Atlantic General Hospital, Cheryl Nottingham.

Health officials say that the prices of their services are standard and do not include rates based on insurance. But residents in the area say this is the type of transparency people need.

“It gives us as a nation a way to look at the prices of health care and make determinations on our own,” said Jeffrey Jones.

“I think the more clarity we get about everything, the better,” said Joan Maloof.

Officials add that this change is a step in the right direction in being able to help people make the best and most informed choices about their health care.

“I think knowing how much procedures are going to cost is going to put you at ease of mind that you’re going to have the ability to pay for your procedures,” said Nottingham.

Health officials also say that you can speak directly with your insurance provider to determine the exact cost of a procedure depending on how much coverage and benefits you receive.  They add that if you’re having trouble viewing the service prices you can contact your local hospital for direct information.

Categories: Local News, Maryland