AHA President: What Hospitals Charge Rarely Reflects What They Are Paid

In light of CMS' recent release of hospital chargemaster data, Richard Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, penned an op-ed in USA Today, arguing that hospital charges rarely reflect what they are paid.

The op-ed comes days after CMS released public chargemaster data, or "sticker price," for the 100 most common Medicare inpatient diagnostic related groups — the first time the federal government has made such information available.

The data revealed wide variation in Medicare charges among the 3,400 hospitals. Mr. Umbdenstock wrote that today's hospital bills are symptoms of a broken payment system, and that charges do not equal how much money the hospital actually gets from the procedure.

"Nearly all of a hospital's payments are set either by the government, which pays less than the cost of caring for patients, or through negotiations with private insurance companies," he wrote in the op-ed. He said hospitals deal with more than 1,300 insurers, and each has a different plan "with multiple requirements for hospital bills."

Mr. Umbdenstock closed the op-ed by emphasizing the AHA's support for legislation that would require all states to provide information on hospital charges and payment rates. He also said the AHA is committed to helping educate American consumers on medical care costs.

More Articles on Hospital Prices:

CMS Data Shows Hospital Charges Vary Significantly
Paul Levy: What on Earth Did CMS have in Mind When it Released 2011 Chargemasters?
10 Hospitals With the Highest Spinal Fusion Charges

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars