Time Magazine Article: A chargemaster of fees for procedures and medications exist for all hospitals and appears inflated and arbitrary, producing unreasonable profits.
(Redacted) Memorial Hospital Response: By law, hospitals are required to maintain a uniform set of charges called the chargemaster. Patients are usually sent a copy of their bill wiich includes the fees for services rendered from the chargmaster. However, almost all insurance companies, as well as Medicare, pay hospitals on a negotiated pre-determined fee schedule. In fact, less than 4% of services provided at (Redacted) Memorial are paid on the basis of the hospital’s chargemaster. It is true that a hospital’s chargemaster has become increasingly irrelevant and is often a source of misinformation for consumers. With the cooperation of insurance companies, we are working on a plan to revise the chargemaster and align iut more closely to the actual fees paid by insurance companies.
Editor’s Note: Hospital response is telling – “with the cooperation of insurance companies“…..we can fix these problems – therein lies the problem.