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December 19, 2018
CMS Price Transparency Policy to Take Effect January 1

In keeping compliant with recent guidelines by the Centers of  Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Harrington will join hospitals nationwide on January 1, 2019, in posting standard charges for patient services on its website.

In August 2018, CMS finalized the 2019 inpatient and long-term are hospital prospective payment system rule, which contained new requirements mandating hospitals publicize a list of their standard charges online in a machine-readable format (XML, CSV) by the new year. Hospitals must update this published list of prices at least annually.

The information must represent the hospital’s current standard charges as reflected in its chargemaster. A hospital chargemaster is a list of all the billable services and items to a patient or a patient’s health insurance provider — estimated costs of each procedure, service, supply, prescription drug and diagnostic test, as well as any fees associated with services.

Harrington, like many other hospitals in the United States now required to post prices, wants to remind current and prospective patients that these numbers are only an estimate; each service or procedure has a number of variables that could alter the actual amount billed. For the most accurate estimate on services, patients should contact a hospital’s Financial Services or Billing Department.