Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The exact amount hospitals charge for procedures has been a closely guarded trade secret for decades. But that is changing due to rules in President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Medicare recently revealed how much hospitals bill the government insurer for procedures and how much Medicare actually pays for the billed procedure. The numbers showed sometimes wide cost discrepancies between facilities in the same area.
Still, Mount Sinai Medical Center is voluntarily taking things one step further. According to the Washington Post, Mt. Sinani’s chief executive Steve Sonnenreich said his hospital will reveal the rates the hospital pays private insurers as well as Medicare.
According to MedCity News, Sonenreich made the promise while talking to WLRN, “We’ll post our prices relative to Blue Cross, and Aetna, our contractual prices, and we’ll challenge Baptist and the other systems in the community to do the same.”
As the Post explained, typically hospitals don’t want the information publicly known so that competitors don’t know the costs of the procedures and health plans don’t want each facility to know if they have given one hospital a better deal than others.
Still, the Post said it may just be Mt. Sinai that makes the move. Baptist Health’s CEO Brian Kelley “has already demurred from matching Mount Sinai’s pledge,” the Post reported.