Quality and cost concerns drive decision making for most major purchases, and comparison shopping is the ideal way to make sure you are getting the best service for your needs and your budget. When it comes to health care expenditures, however, Americans have been willing to forgo comparison shopping—until recently. Today’s consumers want to be well informed about health care costs and quality, so that they can make the best decisions, within their healthcare budgets, for themselves and their families.
St. Clair Hospital is dedicated to keeping patients educated, informed and included in every aspect of their healthcare experiences, and to that end, St. Clair recently launched an innovative tool called Patient Estimates. Patient Estimates is an online pricing transparency tool that enables patients to determine what their estimated out-of-pocket healthcare costs will be for services they receive at the hospital and its outpatient centers. It represents a growing trend in the health care industry: informing patients up front about the quality and cost of their care. This is a departure from past industry practices, in which patients were generally uninformed about their financial responsibilities until the day the bill arrived—typically long after having a procedure or test.
Patient Estimates is user-friendly, convenient and available 24/7.Visit the hospital website, www.stclair.org, selecs the option, “Financial Tools” on the home page and follow the drop-down menu to Patient Estimates. The patient enters specific information and the tool provides a customized estimate of what their out-of-pocket costs are likely to be.
St. Clair is the first hospital in the region to offer such an important tool to patients.