Hospital Facility Fees on the Rise as Employed Physician Bases Grow

Facility fees are bringing in growing streams revenue for hospitals and health systems thanks in large part to the push toward full physician employment, according to a Columbus Dispatch report.

Facility fees are "provider-based billing" fees that hospitals charge when patients receive treatment at physician practices and outpatient clinics that the hospital owns or leases, according to the report. These fees are billed in addition to the actual physician services, and they are usually used to cover the costs of providing other services, such as nursing care and medical education.

Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center in Columbus collects roughly $17 million per year in facility fees from payors and patients based on 370,000 patient visits — meaning the average facility fee per patient encounter is about $46, according to the report.

While facility fees are a revenue source for hospitals and health systems, some payors and patients are surprised by the charges. Health plans, which are commonly on the paying end of facility fees, have questioned whether the fees actually provide value to patients and the healthcare system in general.

"It is even more troubling if cost-conscious consumers are discouraged from seeking primary care from employed physicians because of the potential of additional facility fee costs," said Miranda Motter, president and CEO of the Ohio Association of Health Plans, in the report.

More Articles on Hospital Facility Fees:

Fixed Sources Make Up Greatest Percentage of Physician Compensation

Class Action Suit Filed Against Tenet Over Facility Fees

Patients Fail to Pay, Understand Financial Obligations

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