A suburban Pittsburgh hospital has joined the growing number of healthcare facilities allowing patients to shop and compare prices on services.
St. Clair Hospital in Mount Lebanon, Pa., last week unveiled a new tool, built by Experian, that offers cost estimates on deductibles, coinsurance and copays for more than 100 procedures, including blood tests and some surgeries.
In a news release, St. Clair touted that it is the first in the region to offer such transparency. The hospital competes with regional hospital systems UPMC and Allegheny Health Network.
Hospitals and other providers are looking for ways to assist consumers who often are dealing with high-deductible health plans, thought to control health spending by making consumers more aware of how much services cost them and their insurers.
Experts say tracking prices can help hospitals manage their costs and become more competitive. Those efforts have accelerated under the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, the CMS has expanded the use of new financial incentives for hospitals to control costs, and private insurers have followed.