Palos Community Hospital Policy for Public Viewing of Hospital Charges
- Purpose: This policy allows the public to view Palos Community Hospital's (PCH) standard charges in compliance with the Affordable Care Act, Section 2718(e) of the Public Health Service Act. It is intended to promote transparency for patients to understand their potential financial liability for services obtained at PCH and to allow comparison for similar services with hospitals.
However, it should be noted that hospital charge masters are lengthy and complex documents and do not provide information at a level necessarily conducive for this purpose. Therefore, additional information, as outlined below, will be provided to patients seeking price estimates.
- Definitions: Hospital charges are the amounts set before any discounts. Hospitals are required by the federal government to utilize uniform charges as the starting point for all bills.
Charges are based on what type of care was provided and can differ from patient to patient for the same service depending on any complications or different treatment provided due to the patient's health. Therefore, actual charges for a specific patient will differ from the listed standard charges.
- Estimates/Financial Assistance: Many patients that will seek hospital charge information are interested in knowing their out-of-pocket financial responsibility. This is an opportunity to have important conversations regarding finances. Those with health insurance can be directed to contact their health plan for specific financial obligations. Those without health insurance will be provided information related to the hospital's financial assistance policy, the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act and any other discounts (e.g. prompt pay) that could be applied.
Requests for specific price estimates should be directed to the Business Office 708-827-2200 at Palos Community Hospital for further assistance.
- Handout Provided: This document can be provided to all requesting access to the hospital's standard charges. Also a copy, of HFMA's Understanding Healthcare Prices: A Consumer Guide) is available.
- Time/Location to View Charges: The public may view this information Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the following location: Palos Community Hospital’s Financial Counselor’s Office. A designated representative from patient financial services will be available during these hours to assist the public in accessing the information.
- Format: Paper document or electronic is available. If electronic, data is in read-only format and access to other information is restricted. Average charges will be grouped into MS-DRG and EAPC for more meaningful information. Viewing of the actual charge master will be allowed if requested for that level of detail.
Effective Date: October 1, 2014