ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Since Jan. 1, 2021, each hospital operating in the United States is required to provide clear, accessible pricing information online about the items and services they provide. Guthrie is being transparent with their patients with their price estimator tool.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, this information must be provided to the public in two ways:
- As a comprehensive machine-readable file with all items and services
- In a display of shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format.
The CMS says this information will make it easier for consumers to shop and compare prices across hospitals and estimate the cost of care before going to the hospital.
Lucia Saggiomo, vice president of corporate revenue cycle at The Guthrie Clinic, said their price estimator tool allows patients to select where they want a procedure done, what their insurance plan is, and estimate what the out of pocket cost may be.
“It is meant to help patients make an informed decision, but it should not be the only item to make that decision,” said Saggiomo. “We care about our communities and we care about our patient, and we want to provide them with this information, but we also want them to know that when they see this number. They may have questions, and we want them to call us.”
Matt Huff, chief financial officer for The Guthrie Clinic, said their patient’s health is top priority.
“Price becomes such an item of concern. Finance becomes such an item of concern,” said Huff. “At the end of the day, we don’t want anybody to not get the care they need because of what they see as a cost. That is why we’ve got all these programs in place and the estimator doesn’t address any of those.”
Huff mentioned Guthrie’s Charity Care programs and financial counselors to help with the costs of healthcare. Guthrie also has a full pricing transparency list for Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA on their website.
Their price estimator can be found here.