Hospitals in U.S. now required to post prices online

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Hospitals in the United States are now required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to share a listing of their current standard charges on their website. Local hospitals are in support of the new requirement.

"We understand why everyone is trying to find a way to make it more simplistic at this point we're at the very beginning stages of that and I applaud the efforts of all of the government as well as the insurance companies and hospitals trying to come together to find ways to make this easier for people to understand pricing," Scott Cantley, the CEO of Memorial Health System, said.

Memorial Health System offers a network of services provided by our team of over 2,000 employees that includes two hospitals, outpatient service sites, and provider clinics in southeastern Ohio and the northwestern parts of West Virginia.

The prices that are listed online represent the total charges for services offered. It does not take into account government assistance or insurance. Therefore, what's online won't necessarily show what your out of pocket costs are.

Cantley is on board with the new mandate but understands healthcare costs are complex.

"The complex part of healthcare is that every patient's care is defined by the course of their treatment," he said.

Kyle Pierson, the CFO at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center, appreciates the price transparency and agrees about the complexity of healthcare costs.

"And so you can't necessarily take a charge for a procedure and get the full picture so you know patients need to remember that while we charge x amount of dollars or any healthcare organization charges x amount of dollars for a certain procedure that's not necessarily reflective of the actual cost of cash out of pocket for patients," Pierson said.

Despite this, both believe the new requirement is a step in the right direction.

You can find the links to the hospital prices at Memorial Health System and WVU Medicine in the Related Links section of the article.

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