Hospitals required to list charges for services up front in 2021

MidMichigan Health Park-Bay
MidMichigan Health Park-Bay(WJRT)
Published: Jan. 1, 2021 at 3:05 PM EST
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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) - Nearly every store and business lists its prices up front, giving customers a chance to comparison shop before agreeing to a transaction.

Except hospitals -- until Friday.

Starting Jan. 1, hospitals are required to list how much they charge for certain services ahead of time. The change comes after the American Hospital Association lost an appeal of a new rule from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The rule requires all hospitals to post a list of standard charges online for 300 services that patients may choose to shop around for, such as X-rays and basic surgical procedures. The prices listed may not be the final price, as other factors like insurance deductibles and hospital financial assistance may factor into what patients actually pay.

Hospitals that fail to comply with posting prices online face fines of up to $300 per day, which totals $109,500 per year. Some experts worry that hospitals may opt to pay the fine and avoid listing their prices as required.

Here are links to chargemaster files for several Mid-Michigan hospitals:

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