The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) in Lake Oswego announced that every Oregon hospital can provide a cost estimate for hospital services for a scheduled procedure within three business days.
This voluntary policy helps uninsured or out-of-network patients to understand their potential costs for services provided at the hospital. Most insured patients, however, will find more useful information on costs by contacting their insurer, which can provide specific estimates based on their particular plan, OAHHS said in a released statement.
OAHHS also announced that the OregonHospitalGuide.org website now features a “cost estimates” section for each hospital in the state. This new section provides comprehensive information for consumers to contact hospital cost estimate and billing departments. It also links directly to each hospital’s financial assistance policy, which can be helpful for people who need help paying their bill.
“Patients, whether they are insured, out of their health plan’s network, or lack insurance all together, should be able to get a good faith estimate directly from their hospital for the cost of a procedure ahead of time,” said Andy Davidson, OAHHS president and CEO. “And, when coupled with the corresponding commitment of Oregon’s health plans to provide cost estimates for the vast majority of our state’s residents who are now insured, every Oregonian, whether insured, uninsured, or out-of-network, can get the financial information they need to make better healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.”
Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, president and CEO, Healthcare Financial Management Association, said, “Oregon is among the first hospital associations in the nation to adopt the recommendations in the HFMA Price Transparency Task Force Report, which reflect the industry consensus on price and quality transparency.”
This initiative is part of a larger transparency effort designed and led by OAHHS, and it complements the comparable hospital quality data that already are available on the website OregonHospitalGuide.org.