PITTSBURGH - A new mandate requires hospitals to publicly post their prices for care on their websites, allowing patients to see just how much they can expect to pay for care.
The federal rule requires all hospitals to post a master list of prices for the services online. The rule is an effort to improve competition and help educate consumers.
The lists indicate what patients will pay out of pocket, and not through insurance.
When Channel 11 looked at Allegheny Health Network's list, we found a vaginal delivery would cost a patient around $7,000. Chemotherapy through a catheter costs nearly $1,300 and a blood transfusion costs a little more than $1,100.
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When Channel 11 reached out to AHN, they sent us a statement saying in part, "While it is an important internal billing resource for hospitals and one required under current regulations, the prices documented in the chargemaster reflect a starting point for discussions with insurers ..."
When Channel 11 checked other local systems, we noticed many of UPMC's hospitals missed the deadline.
A spokesperson told us they are now working to update all of their websites, but are not done yet.
"It is highly unlikely that this will provide any meaningful information that would be useful for patients," a spokesperson said in a statement. "It is important to understand that the standard charge is not the amount that a patient is expected to pay for receiving healthcare services."
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