Parents Want More Information About the Costs of their Childrens’ Hospital Care
By Consumers For Quality Care, on October 13, 2021
A new study, reported by Futurity, reveals that three fourths of parents with hospitalized children want to talk to hospital staff about the projected cost of their child’s medical care, but only 10 percent of parents say those conversations occur. This new data comes amidst growing public outcry that patients and their families are too often uninformed about the cost of their medical care.
“Part of what we hope this paper will do is to serve as a wake-up call to say, ‘We have to better counsel families on the anticipated cost of their child’s care,’” says Hannah Bassett, the lead author of the study and a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Stanford University.
Bassett says that the complex health insurance system makes it very hard to precisely determine the cost of medical treatment.
“As a doctor, I have a ballpark idea that an MRI costs more than an ultrasound,” says Bassett, “but there are so many factors that trickle down to a family’s bill—their deductible, their copay, if they have coinsurance, whether they’ve hit their yearly maximum, and so on—that even if I know in general what something costs, it’s nearly impossible to give an accurate estimate to a family.”
All parents deserve clarity from providers about what the cost for their child’s care will be, and a lack of transparency in hospital pricing is simply unacceptable.