The Journal Gazette
 
 
Saturday, September 18, 2021 1:00 am

Hospital prices compiled online

Updated website shows consumers what services cost

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

It's now easier to compare health care prices online, the Indiana Hospital Association announced Friday.

The Indianapolis-based nonprofit trade association has updated mycareINsight.org, which launched in 2015 to make pricing and quality information publicly available.

The site now includes a single location for hospital-specific price information for common services, out-of-pocket price estimator tools where available, and standard charges for all items and services in an easily accessible format, as required by the federal Price Transparency Rule, according to a news release.

Although Indiana hospitals have complied with the federal Price Transparency Rule, there was no single location to quickly find links to each hospital's information until now, the Indiana Hospital Association said.

Brian Tabor, the association's president, said members have cooperated to make the data available even while dealing with COVID-19 challenges.

“Our hospitals are working individually and collectively to continuously improve mycareINsight so every patient has the information they need to make informed decisions about their care,” he said in a statement.

Since 2015, mycareINsight has allowed consumers to compare hospital charges and quality ratings for the 100 most frequent inpatient services and the 50 most frequent outpatient procedures, helping to clarify the complex factors that affect medical costs.

The website includes sections on understanding hospital billing, understanding hospital quality and explanations of Medicare, Medicaid and where data come from.

The website was developed using public data reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Indiana Department of Health and includes important measures of care, including patient satisfaction, readmissions, infections, deaths, birthing outcomes and hospital charges.

Tabor included a caveat with Friday's announcement.

“While the data on mycareINsight provides a great starting point for consumers to begin comparing hospitals and making health care decisions, it only tells part of the story and we cannot provide what a patient's out-of-pocket cost will be based on their insurance,” he said.

“To make health care prices truly transparent, pending federal transparency requirements for health insurance companies should be accelerated and put into state law,” he added.

Tami Brigle, Parkview Health spokeswoman, provided the following statement in response to the announcement.

“Parkview Health supports the IHA's efforts to make health care cost and quality information even more accessible to consumers. mycareINsight is one of many helpful tools patients have to help them make informed decisions about their care.

“As a reminder, patients may request an estimate for Parkview services using our MyChart self-service estimator tool or by calling us at 260-266-6700 or toll free 855-814-0012,” Brigle said through email.

Lutheran Health Network didn't respond Friday afternoon to a request for comment.

To access the Indiana Hospital Association' updated website, consumers can go online to www.mycareINsight.org.

sslater@jg.net


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