Hospital Charge Information
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a public Web site on May 8, 2013 to provide data on hospital-specific charges for the top 100 most frequently billed discharges for hospitals across the United States. The figures are 2011 average charges and average Medicare payments for individual hospitals, including Skagit Valley Hospital. Consumers and others may use the CMS Web site, and a similar site hosted by the Washington State Hospital Association, to make comparisons on the amount charged by hospitals within the local market, and beyond.
Skagit Regional Health is working hard to bring costs down while retaining our high standards for quality, safe patient care. Hospital finances are a complex issue. It is important to remember that hospitals are paid much less than is charged, as Medicare and private insurers typically negotiate lower prices with hospitals. Hospital charges and payments vary by facility and Skagit Valley Hospital’s are influenced by our payer mix, which reflects our aging population, and commercial contracts.
Skagit Valley Hospital has a high number of Medicare and Medicaid patients (46.4 percent Medicare and 15.6 percent Medicaid). Medicare typically reimburses just 27.8 cents of every dollar that Skagit Valley Hospital charges. Skagit Valley Hospital’s commercial contract payments, representing 29.7 percent of the payer mix, are lower than payments to some other surrounding facilities. As a key provider in our community’s health care safety net, in 2012, Skagit Regional Health wrote off $7.8 million in charges for charity care and $20.9 million in charges for bad debt.
The data shows Skagit Valley Hospital comes in higher on charges than other facilities for some DRGS, and lower in other cases. To showcase the variability, here are some examples:
DRG 470 –Major Joint Replacement of Reattachment of Lower Extremity without Major Co-morbid Conditions:
St. Joseph, Bellingham $37,299 $15,119
Skagit Valley Hospital 43,124 14,483
Providence, Everett 51,576 15,635
Overlake, Bellevue 45,672 13,444
DRG 176 – Pulmonary Embolism without Major Co-morbid Conditions:
St. Joseph, Bellingham $26,700 $8,457
Skagit Valley Hospital 23,254 7,263
Providence, Everett 20,913 7,273
Swedish, Seattle 29,784 8,060
*Note: Charges includes all of the diagnostics, procedures, supplies and the number of days that make up a patient stay.