About Amy Umble: Amy Umble is a reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Website allows Virginians to compare hospital bills
The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s PricePoint web site, http://www.vapricepoint.org, has been updated and is available for public use. This web site allows consumers to see what any Virginia acute-care hospital charges for specific inpatient services.
VHHA PricePoint launched in 2006 to provide information that will help patients, community employers and insurers make informed health care decisions. As more costs of care are being borne by consumers, the health care cost transparency provided through this site empowers consumers to make educated decisions about their health care. This web site is unique in that it provides aggregate “discount” information for Virginia acute care hospitals for the three major kinds of health care coverage – private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. This information helps users understand how hospitals charges compare to the amount of revenue they actually collect for services provided in each of the three payer categories.
VHHA PricePoint also provides links to each hospital’s financial assistance policy and a link to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ “Hospital Compare” web site.
New this year to the site is a quality report card for each hospital, which shows how it is performing in certain quality measures compared to Virginia and U.S. hospitals. While the data in this report card is publicly available from multiple sources, VHHA compiles the data in one location for ease of use by the public.
The updated data reflects inpatient patient-level data for calendar year 2013 and hospital fiscal year 2012 financial data.
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