Spectrum Health Introduces Online Cost Estimator for Priority Health Members

Calculator Estimates Out-of-Pocket Costs for Care

Spectrum Health announced today it has added a cost estimator on its Web site for Priority Health members to determine out-of-pocket costs for services. The cost estimator can be used for any of the 250 procedures posted on Spectrum Health’s Web site.

“Spectrum Health is committed to providing consumers with information about the cost of health care so they can make informed decisions,” said Michael P. Freed, executive vice president & CFO, Spectrum Health. “As an integrated health care system with a health plan and hospital group, we are able to provide patients with cost information to help them better manage their health care spending.”

The information available in the cost estimator is based on the average prices listed for nearly 250 Spectrum Health Grand Rapids adult procedures that are posted on its Web site.

Priority Health members will need to enter their member identification number, last name and date of birth as well as the procedure they are interested in. Below is an example of the information the member will receive.

The out-of-pocket estimate provided is for hospital prices only. It does not include physician fees.

The online cost estimator is the next step in Spectrum Health’s commitment to educating consumers about the cost of health care and their financial responsibility for the services they receive. In October 2006, Spectrum Health was among the first in the country to post average prices for many of its common procedures on its Web site.  In February 2008, it added information on what Spectrum Health is paid on average from Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health insurers for those procedures. In addition, Spectrum Health posts its annual audited, and quarterly unaudited, financial statements on its Web site together with an overview of its annual budget.  Priority Health also posts the common costs for common procedures and health services.

“In 2008, our average prices Web page received an average of 1,200 visits per month,” said Freed.  “Consumers want to know how much health care costs and we hope this new cost estimator gives them one more tool for planning and managing their care.”

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, a collection of seven hospitals and more than 140 service sites; the Spectrum Health Medical Group, a multispecialty team of nearly 100 providers; and Priority Health, a health plan with nearly 500,000 members. 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 $111.1 million in community benefit during its 2008 fiscal year. As a system, Spectrum Health has earned more than 100 awards during the past 10 years.