Hospitals are required by the federal government to utilize standard charges as the starting point for all bills. The hospital’s chargemaster is a comprehensive and complex list of these standard charges for items that could be billed to a patient, payer or healthcare provider. The hospital charges on this list are the rates established before any negotiated discounts by patients, payers, or insurance companies.
Government insurance plans such as Medicare and Medicaid do not pay the chargemaster rates. These payers have their own rate schedules that hospitals are obligated to accept. Commercial insurance payments are based on contract negotiations with managed care payers and may not reflect the rates on the chargemaster.
Hospital charges typically do not include physician services or the necessary services of other providers, such as personnel retained by the physician, or the services of outside facilities. Patients will be responsible for these other charges in addition to the hospital charges.
The hospital charges are based on the actual care provided and can differ from patient to patient for the same service. Though the hospital’s rates on the chargemaster are the same for all patients, actual charges for each specific patient may vary from the listed standard charges due to a combination of factors. The differences between patients are primarily related to complications or varying treatments required due to the patient’s health.
Patients without commercial insurance, or not covered by a government health care plan, should contact Nebraska Spine Hospital prior to a procedure to request an estimate and discuss payment terms and/or financial assistance.
Please contact us at 402-572-3000, option 1 for specific fee estimates or for further assistance.