What is a Chargemaster?
A Chargemaster is a list of 300+ items and shoppable services (a service that can be scheduled by a healthcare consumer in advance) and their respected charge as established and maintained by the hospital. You can locate and review our Chargemaster file here.
Hospital charge data is being provided as part of a federal regulatory policy mandated by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
A charge is the dollar amount assigned to specific medical services before negotiating any discounts from payers. The charge is different from the price. Very few patients pay the charge, regardless of their insurance status. Therefore, this data is not meaningful to people. Iowa Hospital Charges Compare allows you to further explore and compare the value offered by Iowa hospitals located at this link.
On the contrary, price is the negotiated and contracted amount to be paid to providers by payers (also called the “allowed amount”). A patient’s out-of-pocket liability for healthcare services is based on this allowed amount. Note that the price for a given service varies by insurance plan, as these are separately negotiated by plan/employer.
When taking the Chargemaster file into consideration, please note the following:
- Hospital charge data is not representative of a patient’s expected out-of-pocket costs. Because each patient’s case is different based on specific conditions, the actual amount owed by a patient will depend on that patient’s insurance coverage.
- Hospital charge data is the amount a hospital bills an insurer for a service. In many cases, however, hospitals are reimbursed by insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid at a rate that is considerably less than the amount charged.
- Patients should talk with their insurance provider to understand which costs will be covered, and which costs will be the patient’s responsibility.
Are charges the same for every patient?
The list of charges are the same for all RCH patients. In total, the ending charges could vary for an individual patient by the differences in the following (but not limited to):
- The length of service or hospital stay.
- Medications you require.
- Difference in expected level of service or procedure.
- If complications were experienced and additional treatment was needed.
- Health conditions you have that may affect your care.
And as stated previously, the hospital charge data is not a representative of a patient’s expected out-of-pocket costs, and the actual amount owed by a patient will depend on that patient’s insurance coverage.
How do you obtain a Good-Faith Estimate?
At Ringgold County Hospital, we support price transparency and believe it is important for you to know what out-of-pocket costs you will incur for services provided at RCH.
We have established three easy ways for you to obtain a Good-Faith Estimate of your costs:
By giving us a call, or emailing us, we can give you an accurate estimate of your out-of-pocket costs for medical services or procedures at Ringgold County Hospital.
To obtain this estimate, we review:
- The specific service or procedure you will receive.
- The physician providing the service.
- Your insurance, including what you have already paid toward your deductible.
- You can also download a spreadsheet of our standard charges to review.
Want to learn more about hospital costs?
If you are interested in learning more information about the Chargemaster or if you have other healthcare cost questions, please contact us at (641) 464-4459.
The information we have provided is a comprehensive list of charges for inpatient and outpatient services and items provided by our hospital and medical groups, known as a Chargemaster. As stated priorly, the charge is different from the price and few patients pay the charge regardless of insurance status. The Chargemaster is not a helpful tool for patients to estimate what healthcare services are going to cost them out of their own pocket, as it will vary per patient and situation. For more information about the cost of your care, please contact us at (641) 464-4459.