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Making sense of the real
costs of healthcare

So you can get back to what's important

Watch a short video on why this matters   

Making
sense of the
real costs of
healthcare

So you can get back
to what's important

Watch a short video on why this matters   

You deserve more than a price tag

We tend to be in the dark when it comes to the cost of our healthcare. And when surgery and other treatments are involved, cost becomes an even bigger unknown.

Knowing the price of tests and treatments before you decide to have them is essential. But even that won't tell you the full story. You deserve more information about the services you're paying for so that you can avoid unnecessary costs and setbacks.

Receive an estimate  
Price doesn't tell the full story
Price doesn't tell the full story

The truth about price

Making care decisions based solely on a price comparison may put you at risk of paying more. 
 
That's because of avoidable costs — the costs that no one plans on, but that you pay for all too often, whether it's because of a complication in the hospital or something that happens once you're home.
 
These preventable costs could mean you end up spending double or triple your original price estimate. Not to mention lost time from work and family or unnecessary pain and discomfort.

 

So how can you protect yourself from avoidable costs?

 

1
Know that not all hospitals are the same

2
Ask questions that can help you tell the difference

Choosing one healthcare provider over another may get you a very different result. That's why it's important to make an informed decision.
 

HSS has developed a new tool

The Hospital
Cost Estimator

Receive an estimate  

 

 

So how can you protect yourself from preventable costs?

1
Know
that not all
hospitals are
the same

2
Ask questions
that can help
you tell the
difference

Choosing one healthcare provider over another may get you a very different result. That's why it's important to make an informed decision.

This tool is designed to help anyone having surgery, no matter where you seek out care

Let us explain the Hospital Cost Estimator through this short video  

The Six Factors of Reliability

The Hospital Cost Estimator features six factors that indicate how reliable a hospital is at performing a given procedure. These factors help you learn what data to ask for and explain why each one matters to your bottom line — and your health. Learn why we chose these factors.

Diagram of redacted Hospital Cost Estimator tool

Success Rate

It’s critical to know whether patients at a specific hospital actually see improvement after their treatment. This data shows how much better patients report feeling one year after treatment. Ask your hospital about the patient-reported success rate for your procedure. A higher success rate is better. 

Patient Experience

Feedback from fellow patients says a lot about the care you can expect to receive. Look for real stories from real patients. "Likelihood to Recommend” data is also collected and made publicly available by Medicare on the Care Compare Website. A higher likelihood to recommend is better.

Complication Rate

Patients admitted to the hospital for treatment sometimes develop serious, even life-threatening complications, which may stem from the care they receive. Hospitals can often prevent these complications by following certain best practices. This data is available on the Care Compare Website. A lower complication rate is better.

Avoidable Hospital Visits

No one wants to find themselves back in the hospital unexpectedly after a procedure — and your hospital can help prevent return visits. This data shows whether a hospital is doing what’s needed to reduce the risk of harmful events such as health-care associated infections and other serious problems that require re-hospitalization. Check Medicare’s Care Compare Website for this info. A lower rate of unplanned visits is better.

Procedure Volume

We all know that practice makes perfect. The more time doctors and staff spend on cases like yours, the greater their expertise. Ask your hospital about the volume for your procedure. A higher procedure volume is better.

Cost Efficiency

Most price calculations give you only the initial price tag for your hospital visit. What they don’t usually tell you about are the extra costs that may add up in the first 30 days after your procedure due to complications, rehabilitation and other factors. This data is available on the Care Compare Website, and is referred to as ‘Payment & Value of Care’. A lower cost-efficiency ratio is better.

This is just one example of a valuable data point. We’re sharing our own data for ten of the most common orthopedic procedures.

Our hope is that more hospitals will also make these numbers available to patients to better serve their needs.

Procedure Volume

Hospitals with a high volume of orthopedic patients have

37%
fewer deaths
and
58%
fewer infections

This is just one example of a valuable data point. We’re sharing our own data for ten of the most common orthopedic procedures

Our hope is that more Hospitals will also make these numbers available to patients to better serve their needs.

Procedure Volume

Hospitals with a high volume of orthopedic patients have

 
37%
fewer deaths
58%
fewer infections

Computer screen showing a hospital cost price estimate

Endorsements

How much do endorsements from third parties really matter? The answer all depends on who’s doing the endorsing. Several groups of independent experts have dug deeper and found U.S. News & World Report to be the most credible of the various hospital rating systems.

Endorsements

How much do endorsements from third parties really matter? The answer all depends on who's doing the endorsing. Several groups of independent experts have dug deeper and found U.S. News & World Report to be the most credible of the various hospital rating systems.

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