VHHA rolls out healthcare cost transparency tool

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:41 PM EDT
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FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) - For many, medical procedures are scary. Some are scared of needles, anesthesia, and the bills to follow.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association rolled out a new tool that helps patients understand healthcare costs, as well as financial assistance policies, available here. It is meant to help prepare for what procedures may cost.

You select your hospital and the portal takes you to their website, where you can input your procedure and see what that costs. Depending on the hospital system, you may be asked for insurance information so they can take that into account as well.

VHHA said it’s part of their mission to bring transparency to health care.

Still, with the tool, there are still many variables that could change.

“We can provide as much transparency as possible with respect to hospital pricing and hospital costs, but there is that insurance component which is important for people to understand,” said VHHA’s Vice President of Communications Julian Walker.

For example, your procedure may require anesthesia or medical imaging which may not be included in a hospital’s cost layouts.

“The hospital is one significant component of this, the insurance company is a significant component of this, but also, there may be other services associated with a procedure or treatment that may occur in the hospital but might just not be a hospital service,” said Walker.

While the system may not offer a spot-on estimate, it will give patients an idea of what a procedure will cost.

“What we’re trying to do here is explain all of that as best we can will all of the available information and say here’s what hospital prices are. Here is a portal through which you can enter insurance information where that’s available but also understanding there may be some pieces of the puzzle that the hospital’s just not going to be privy to, or just can’t predict,” Walker said.

If you need more information on financial assistance, click the hospital and follow the financial assistance link. That will bring you to that system’s page which will explain the financial aid policy.

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