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  "I
n the gap between excellence and perfection, there is suffering, harm, tragedy, and death."
-- Jim Conway


    
How much you will pay when you receive your medical treatment is seldom known before the treatment is rendered. Patients need to have information on medical costs so they can compare and shop before a treatment is rendered.

There are two types of charges.  The list or asking price and the insurance contract price.  Seldom does anyone pay the asking price.  It is much like buying a car.  One should barter and for the best results barter before the care is received.  If you do not have insurance, many hospitals will give a hefty discount if the bill is paid in full.  Some will match Medicare prices if asked before the service is rendered. 

There are only a few resources for consumers regarding hospital prices and most deal with average revenues received or profitability.   Both are related to charges.  Facilities with higher revenues and higher profits often, but not always, charge more.  Profits tend to be hard to judge and the data listed on many websites are misleading due to the method of reporting the data.

Hospital Finances & Profits
 
Charges Versus Revenues

Avoid the pitfall of looking at hospital revenues and not charges.  You need to know what you will pay NOT average hospital collections.   Revenues are diluted down by Medicaid and Medicare and are not predictive of what other patients will pay. 

A healthcare tracking site Out of Pocket may also be useful to identify healthcare cost information and cost comparison websites.    http://www.outofpocketx.com/  

Kentucky Hospital Charge Information:

The lower the Cost-To-Charge Ratio, the larger the profit margin on the charges.  As with buying a car this information is useful in negotiating the price that a patient will be charged. 

It is Health Watch USA's opinion that the costs of supplies and pharmaceuticals in most hospitals are similar due to cooperative purchasing organizations.  One of the few ways a hospital can cut costs is to cut the hospital's staff, a practice which may lower the quality of service.   Facility staff costs maybe as much as 60% of total facility expenses. 

The charge in the ratio is the list price or asking price.  Discounts may be given to patients and insurance companies depending upon the healthcare facility's policy.   In addition, the Cost-To-Charge Ratios may vary to a large degree within the same institution for different services. 

The consumer should always compare price and quality between institutions.  Thus, contact several different facilities and ask how much the service going to cost. 

Adjusted Cost-To-Charge Ratios as determined by the Kentucky Dept of Labor -
View Kentucky Regulations on how the Ratios are Calculated and Adjusted