Use the Charge Master find hospital costs

Use the Charge Master find hospital costs

When Karen and I were in California for her Dural Reduction Surgery I discovered that California had something called the "AB 1045 and the Payers′ Bill of Rights" and Charge Master, or Chargemaster as it appears both ways, program that lists hospital costs.

For example searching for “cedar sinai” brings up a downloadable spreadsheet of their procedure costs. The highest thing listed is:

“02781367 HB TOTAL ARTIFICIAL HEART $510,125.75”

“03400011 HB NM CSF LEAK SCAN 78650 $1,476.66 $1,919.65 ”

That easy to get a price, at least if you know what it is called. I could not figure out the what Dural Reduction Surgery was called in the CM. :-(

Now why don't all states have this so we can shop for medical procedures just as we would do for anything else we buy in our lives?

In a different tho related matter I got a bill in March of 2014 for thousands of dollars from the hospital in LA, seven months after Karen died.

Karen once got a bill seven years after the date of service.

I keep thinking I should contact my representatives in Congress to get them to enact a law that says if the hospital and doctors can't get the bill sent out in 120 days, then the bill can not be sent. What excuse if there to take seven months to send a bill?

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