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:

         Charges*                                                         Payment    

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:

          Charges*                                                        Payment      

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.    

View more Medicare Provider Charge Data.

Read a statement from the American Hospital Association. 

Read more about price information at the Washington State Hospital Association.