Pricing tool now available on Penn State Health websites

In an effort to provide price transparency for patients, Penn State Health is now providing access to online pricing, according to a news release.

The tool allows individuals to select from a list of common medical procedures and submit information about their insurance, then estimates the individual’s out-of-pocket costs.

“We want to provide as much information as possible regarding what people can expect to pay for a particular procedure,” said Alan Brechbill, executive vice president and COO at Penn State Health. “We encourage them to use data about cost and quality to make important decisions regarding where to receive care.”

When the tool went online in July, it included approximately 50 of the most common medical procedures, like ultrasounds of the head and neck, 3D mammography, chest X-says and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair – with new ones regularly being added to the system.

The online pricing tool can be found on the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center website, the Penn State Health St. Joseph site, the Penn State Cancer Institute site, and the Penn State Children’s Hospital website.

The tool provides the estimated cost for the technical services of medical procedures, such as facility fees and any services performed by someone other than a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.

Financial navigators are available to help patients with understanding the costs of the professional services, which represent fees charged by the physician.

The navigators are live assistants tasked with helping people understand the cost of their care, as well as the range of financial assistance options that may be available.

Financial navigators are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 1-888-835-5850.

Penn State Health is a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across 29 counties in central Pennsylvania, including Berks County. The system includes Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Children’s Hospital, and Penn State Cancer Institute based in Hershey, Pa.; Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading, Pa.; and more than 1,400 physicians and direct care providers at 119 medical office locations.

Dawn Ouellette Nixon
Dawn Ouellette Nixon is a career journalist who believes that good journalism can change the world. As the health care reporter, she covers everything from small town medicine to big pharma. You can also find her chasing a good business story in Berks County. She can be reached at dnixon@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, extension 4118.

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