Hospital to Offer Patients Early Access to Care Costs; A New Tool from St. Clair Hospital Helps People Shop for Health Care the Way They Shop for Everything Else: By Looking Up What a Service Costs before Agreeing to Pay for It. [Derived Headline]

By Venteicher, Wes | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 22, 2016 | Go to article overview

Hospital to Offer Patients Early Access to Care Costs; A New Tool from St. Clair Hospital Helps People Shop for Health Care the Way They Shop for Everything Else: By Looking Up What a Service Costs before Agreeing to Pay for It. [Derived Headline]


Venteicher, Wes, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


A new tool from St. Clair Hospital helps people shop for health care the way they shop for everything else: by looking up what a service costs before agreeing to pay for it.

Hospitals rarely provide costs of surgeries, tests or other procedures before people get them done, leaving patients to learn what they owe when a bill shows up a month or more after a hospital visit.

St. Clair's tool, set to go live on the hospital's website at 8 a.m. Monday, gives cost estimates for 105 procedures ranging from blood tests and X-rays to common surgeries such as a gallbladder removal and meniscus repair.

Competing with regional hospital systems UPMC and Allegheny Health Network, the independent Mt. Lebanon community hospital has focused in recent years on patient safety, aiming for high quality scores from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and independent hospital safety organizations such as The Leapfrog Group, said Chief Medical Officer Alan Yeasted.

The hospital also has focused on patient satisfaction scores, which CMS collects and uses to compare hospitals. The online cost estimator tool was developed in response to a common request from patients to know costs before undergoing a procedure, hospital officials said.

"There are many institutions in the United States -- and in Pittsburgh -- that have high quality. But we wanted to be able to do that at a very reasonable cost and to show people what it's going to cost to come here and what their actual out-of-pocket cost is going to be," Yeasted said. …

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Hospital to Offer Patients Early Access to Care Costs; A New Tool from St. Clair Hospital Helps People Shop for Health Care the Way They Shop for Everything Else: By Looking Up What a Service Costs before Agreeing to Pay for It. [Derived Headline]
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