"PRICING HOTLINE" HELPS PROSPECTIVE PATIENTS SHOP for SERVICES
We shop for a car, get estimates for home improvement projects and look for the best value when it comes to groceries, wardrobe or other desirables we've been hoping to purchase.
When it comes to selecting healthcare services, the recent growth of consumer-directed health plans and health savings accounts are now driving some patients to shop the price for medical services when the need is not urgent. While pricing transparency is a new concept in healthcare, shopping for quality healthcare is also receiving a boost in recent years from various Web sites such as www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov that are sponsored by government and regulatory agencies. Until now, most of us did whatever our doctor told us.
With more and more people beginning to shop for both price and quality when it comes to the purchase of medical procedures and services, Doylestown Hospital has responded with the introduction of the "Pricing Hotline" to help prospective patients make informed healthcare purchasing decisions.
Inquirers may call 215-918-5515 and leave a message with their name, insurance number and the procedure or service they're interested in pricing. Callers are promised a response within 24 hours, and are told that the pricing they receive is an estimate for hospital-specific charges; there may be additional charges related to physician, laboratory and pharmaceutical costs.
"Our message tells the caller that, depending on their insurer, the patient will have to figure out if he or she has out-of-pocket expenses," said Bill DiGiorgio of Managed Care Services. "The insurance question also helps us determine if the patient is uninsured, so we can refer the patient to our financial consultants in the event they require charity care."