Spectrum Health Enhances Web Site With Payment Information

Spectrum Health announced today it has added average payments it receives from Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance companies for specific procedures on its Web site, This additional information complements the average prices listed for nearly 250 Spectrum Health Grand Rapids adult procedures that have been posted since October 2006.
“Transparency in health care is what we are committed to at Spectrum Health,” said Michael P. Freed, executive vice president & CFO, Spectrum Health. “By making our prices public along with posting what we are actually paid for medical procedures, we hope to give consumers the information they need to make better health care decisions.”

This enhancement provides consumers with a chart that outlines the average price for select procedures, as well as the average payments Spectrum Health receives from Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance companies. For example:

81.51 – Hip replacement, total

Estimated Average Price  $19,600.00
Average Medicare Payment $13,378.62
Average Medicaid Payment $8,428.53
Average Insurance Payment                              $15,918.62


In October 2006, Spectrum Health was among the first in the country to post average prices for many of its most common inpatient and outpatient procedures online. These pages generate on average 2,000 visits a month. Now, along with the price information, Spectrum Health is openly sharing what it is paid on average from Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health insurers for those procedures. The commercial insurance payments included on Spectrum Health’s Web site represent the average payment received from all commercial payers. Individual commercial insurers and their payments are not identified.

“The health care industry historically has not been transparent about how care is paid for,” said Freed. “At Spectrum Health, we are dedicated to delivering high quality care at a low cost. But as health care costs continue to rise, employers and consumers need to be aware of how hospitals are being paid.”

The prices listed on the Spectrum Health Web site provide patients an estimated average amount for adult inpatient and outpatient procedures, childbirth services, as well as the most common radiology and laboratory tests based on procedure codes. The Web site explains that these estimates include hospital prices for nursing care, room charges, supplies and medication. They do not include physician fees. Consumers are encouraged to contact physician offices for their prices. In addition, the prices will vary depending on the patient’s need for tests and other procedures, as well as existing health conditions.

Consumers with health insurance are directed to contact their health insurance provider for specific information about their plan. Participating insurers and their contact information are listed on the site.

If the Web site does not provide the information a consumer needs, a phone number and secure e-mail address is available for further questions. The site also includes Frequently Asked Questions and a glossary of terms.

Clinical quality data has been posted on the Spectrum Health Web site since January 2006, and is updated and expanded quarterly. Financial information also is posted quarterly.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through its seven hospitals, more than 140 service sites and 560,000-member health plan, Priority Health. Spectrum Health’s 14,000 employees, 1,500 medical staff members and 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care to those in medical need. The organization provided $98.6 million in community benefit during its 2007 fiscal year. Spectrum Health has earned more than 50 national awards during the past 10 years.