Michigan Medicine provides estimated cost transparency to patients
Patients now have more transparency when it comes to medical costs. As a requirement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), patients can calculate estimated out-of-pocket costs for procedures and surgeries.
The ACA requirement goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, and at Michigan Medicine, the functionality now lives within the patient portal and via UofMHealth.org (https://www.uofmhealth.org/patient-visitor-guide/estimates-price-transparency).
With this new functionality, patients and guests can calculate expenses for more than 300 different services, including procedures like colonoscopies, MRIs and chest CT scans. In general, the cost estimate will include charges for hospital and physician services.
“We are trying to be proactive by helping patients plan for their out-of-pocket medical expenses,” said Alena Hill, director of pre-service revenue cycle.
If they are current Michigan Medicine patients, individuals can log onto their MyUofMHealth.org Patient Portal account and select the “Estimates” link under “Billing” from the drop down menu. This feature uses the previously provided insurance information to quickly generate estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
Guests or “shoppers” who are comparing costs between hospitals and health care systems can use the Patient Estimate Portal. They will need to provide their current insurance information and find the benefits available with their insurance. If insurance benefits are not available in real time, they will need to enter the benefits manually.
The Patient Estimate Portal is available to the public without charge and without needing to register or establish a user account or password.
It is important to note that the estimated costs are just an estimate. The information provided through the online tool is a best estimate based on the historical information and is not a guarantee of what a patient will be charged.
Additionally, please understand that in many cases it is impossible to predict final charges because of variables that affect services, such as:
- Length of time spent in surgery or recovery
- Specific equipment, supplies and medications required
- Additional tests required by a provider
- Any unusual special care or unexpected conditions or complications
If patients are having trouble creating an estimate for their desired service, please contact the estimates team at 877-480-8757. The team is available from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday.