Officials at Tomah Health say a redesign of the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s PricePoint tool will enhance consumer price transparency.
“The modern design of the WHA’s PricePoint will further enable consumers, patients and others to easily access and compart pricing information of health care services across the state,” Tomah Health chief financial officer Joe Zeps said the recently announced PricePoint upgrade.
WHA officials said the cornerstone feature of the redesign is a new plain-language search function, made possible by WHAIC collaborating with Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), known for capturing precise clinical data at the point of care and then standardizing it across settings and sources. The new search feature not only speeds up users’ research time but also allows apples-to-apples comparisons of health care costs across the state.
With roughly 15,000 page views per month, the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center’s PricePoint tool is a popular resource that allows consumers to access and compare up-to-date information about the cost of care for various services across the state of Wisconsin.
CLICK HERE for PricePoint
“Wisconsin has a long history of voluntary health care price transparency efforts by hospitals, with WHA’s PricePoint serving as the cornerstone of these efforts,” said Jennifer Mueller, Vice President, Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center.
The application allows consumers and providers to search for generic terms, such as “mammogram,” or the CPT code, a standardized 5-digit code assigned to each unique health care service. Searches for either term produces information about multiple facilities’ median charges, average length of stay, and more for that particular service.
“This user experience redesign is intended to assist consumers as they work with their health care provider and, importantly, their insurance company or other third-party payers to determine the financial obligations for hospital services they receive,” Mueller added.
Tomah Health Quality / Risk / Compliance Director Shelly Egstad, MA SL, RN, said the hospital has a long history of working with WHA on transparency. “Our philosophy at Tomah Health has always been to be transparent and thanks to technology, data is just a click away,” Egstad added.
In addition to the newly announced features, PricePoint also delivers a variety of consumer-focused tools to assist patients in accessing necessary information from other entities besides hospitals, including:
– Hospitals’ Financial Assistance Policy and Contact Information: Patients can easily access hospitals’ financial assistance policy and contact information.
– Quality Data: Users can click the WHAIC CheckPoint tool logo when navigating each hospital’s facility information page to gain direct access to information about that hospital’s quality data.
– Specific Out-of-Pocket Costs: Consumers can input their specific health insurance provider and PricePoint will provide that insurer’s contact information so the consumer can contact them directly to solicit details about out-of-pocket costs specific to them and their circumstances.
– Insurance Information: Consumers who don’t already have a coverage policy can find information and a menu of options to obtain insurance coverage.
– Post-Care Services: PricePoint provides information about statewide averages for additional post-hospital services to help consumers know what to expect beyond the service they are searching for.
Since 2005, the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center (WHAIC) has offered PricePoint as a tool to provide patients and families with important information about health care services and charges in Wisconsin. In 2017, WHAIC expanded the hospital-specific information in PricePoint to include services and charges that may be provided by non-hospital providers across the state – providing a more complete picture of the charges associated with a particular procedure or treatment.