New Crozer-Keystone Service Estimates “Out-of-Pocket” Patient Costs
- Crozer-Keystone Health System recently introduced a new tool called CarePricer, which is used to provide patients with a written estimate of their projected out-of-pocket costs for both inpatient and outpatient hospital services.
- CarePricer provides a way for patients to plan for their healthcare expenses and find a hospital that best meets their needs. CarePricer does not estimate professional (physician) fees — it’s just for hospital services.
- CarePricer is one of many ways Crozer-Keystone is helping patients to manage their healthcare and navigate the changing healthcare environment.
As patients become more active consumers of healthcare, there’s an important question they often ask: How much will this cost?
To better answer this question, Crozer-Keystone Health System (CKHS) recently introduced a new tool called CarePricer, which estimates how much patients can expect to pay out-of-pocket for hospital services based on their insurance coverage and other factors.
“The CarePricer tool is one more way we are working to provide transparency and respond to our patients’ needs in this changing healthcare environment,” explains Robert Perry, CKHS vice president of Revenue Cycle Services. “Patients today are more sensitive to their out-of-pocket responsibilities, and they often want to know how much services will cost before they get them.”
With CarePricer, patients can be provided with more accurate information that they can then use to plan their care and even decide on a hospital that best meets their needs.
How does CarePricer work?
CarePricer calculates a patient’s out-of-pocket responsibility by combining information from the health system’s Contract Management tool (payer contracts), historic charges, service line category, procedures/tests and patient benefits. CarePricer can also provide estimates for patients without insurance coverage.
Using this tool, trained Crozer-Keystone representatives can provide patients with a written estimate stating how much they can expect to pay for both inpatient hospital care and outpatient hospital services and testing, such as X-rays or MRIs. The tool applies only to hospital services and does not calculate costs for professional (physician) fees.
“There may be variables, such as insurance deductions, which may impact out-of pocket costs for some patients,” Perry notes. “Anything we do with this tool we consider an estimate.”
“An important benefit of CarePricer is that we are able to provide patients with a timely, consistent estimate every time,” Perry says.
How can you use this tool?
Since CarePricer was rolled out by Crozer-Keystone in February, patients have been invited to take advantage of this tool by contacting the Financial Counseling Department at one the following Crozer-Keystone facilities:
- Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland): 610-447-2336
- Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill): 610- 394-1720
- Springfield Hospital (Springfield): 610-328-8758
- Taylor Hospital (Ridley Park): 610-595-6101
Also, Patient Access registration staff and designated Clinical department Super Users throughout the health system has been trained on CarePricer. Specially trained staff are able to provide estimates at all stages in the registration process, or even sooner, while patients are still deciding whether to schedule a procedure or service.
Better transparency, better care
Perry emphasizes that Crozer-Keystone is fully committed to serving the healthcare needs of people in the community. He points out that Crozer-Keystone has been an important community resource in helping people apply for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), as well helping patients determine if they are eligible for financial assistance and other medical assistance programs. CarePricer is one more way Crozer-Keystone is working to enhance patient services.
“Patients appreciate the opportunity to discuss financial responsibility before care is provided,” observes Bernadette McDonnell, PFS Director of Quality, Training and Process Improvement. She says CarePricer will improve patient satisfaction by better preparing staff members to communicate with patients about patient-specific benefits and payment options. It will also help the hospitals more efficiently manage billing and collections, creating a win-win for everybody.
To speak with a Crozer-Keystone financial representative or inquire about pricing for a hospital service, contact one of the Crozer-Keystone facilities at the phone numbers listed above or ask for an estimate at any time in the registration process for a hospital service. For more information about Crozer-Keystone, visit www.crozerkeystone.org.