- How do cost and quality at Christiana Care compare to other hospitals in the region?
Christiana Care Health System delivers exceptional value, providing high-quality, safe care at costs that are generally much lower than the other comparable hospitals in the Philadelphia region.
Christiana Care is rated among one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades and a Best Hospital by U.S. News & World Report. Out of more than 4,500 hospitals in the U.S., Christiana Care was one of only 29 this year to achieve the highest ratings in every common condition or procedure in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals rankings. This is the third consecutive year that Christiana Care has earned that distinction — a record that only 14 hospitals in the country have achieved. Christiana Care was also recognized as the best hospital in Delaware and was ranked No. 3 among the 90-plus hospitals in the Philadelphia region.
Christiana Care is a teaching hospital that includes a Level I Trauma Center and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Each of these designations represents a high level of capability to handle the most severe or complex cases.
This high level of service is delivered with a strong commitment to our community to ensure that health care is both effective and affordable. Additionally, as a not-for-profit health system with a century-long commitment to service, Christiana Care reinvests back into the community to expand access to high-quality care and to make a positive impact on the health of our most vulnerable populations. Learn more about Christiana Care’s commitment to our community.
- What do these hospital charges reflect?
Hospital charges include money spent on people, and money spent on the supplies, tools and support they need. We have an exceptionally skilled and talented health care workforce at Christiana Care, comparable with other Top 100 Hospitals and academic medical centers across the country.
- What is a chargemaster?
A chargemaster is a comprehensive list of charges for each inpatient and outpatient service or item provided by a hospital – each test, exam, surgical procedure, room charge, etc. Given the many services provided by hospitals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a chargemaster contains thousands of services and related charges.
Chargemaster amounts are almost never billed to a patient or received as payment by a hospital. The chargemaster amounts are billed to an insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid, and those insurers then apply their contracted rates to the services that are billed. In situations where a patient does not have insurance, our hospital has financial assistance policies that apply discounts to the amounts charged. More information on our financial assistance policies can be found here.
Health insurance companies contract with hospitals to care for their customers. Hospitals are paid the insurance company’s contract rate, which generally is significantly less than the amount listed on the chargemaster. The insurance company’s contract rate, not the chargemaster, is the basis for determining the patient’s actual out-of-pocket costs. As an example, a hospital may charge $1,000 for a particular service, while the insurer’s contract rate may be $800. If the patient’s insurance plan indicates the patient is responsible for 20 percent of the contract rate, the patient would owe $160 ($800 x 20 percent).
- Are charges the same for every patient?
The list of charges is the same for all patients. However, the total charges for an individual patient often vary from one patient to another for a number of reasons, including:
- How long it takes to perform the service or how long it takes you to recover in the hospital.
- Whether the service or procedure you receive is more or less difficult than expected.
- What kinds of medication you require.
- Whether you experience complications and need additional treatment.
- Other health conditions you may have that may affect your care.
- Is the charge the same as what a patient pays?
Chargemaster information is not particularly helpful for patients to estimate what health care services are going to cost them out of their own pocket.
The charge listed in the chargemaster is generally not the amount a patient will pay. If you have health insurance, the amount you will be billed and expected to pay for your services depends on your specific health insurance coverage and your insurance company’s contract with the hospital. If you do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for reduced costs under the hospital’s financial assistance policy, or you may be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
- What is not included in the chargemaster list?
The hospital’s chargemaster does not include charges for services provided by the doctor (or doctors) who treat you while you are at the hospital. You may receive separate bills from the hospital and the doctors involved in your care.
Here is a partial list of health care providers who may bill you separately:
- Your personal doctor, if he/she sees you in the hospital.
- The surgeon who performs your procedure.
- The anesthesiologist who works with the surgeon.
- The radiologist who reads your x-rays or other imaging.
- Other doctors who may be consulted by your doctor during your time in the hospital.
- Laboratory testing.
- Where can I find more information about hospital costs?
If you would like more information about the chargemaster, what your care will cost you or the hospitals’ financial assistance policy, please contact our customer service team at 302-623-7440.
Please consult with your insurance provider to understand your insurance coverage, which charges will be covered, how much you will be billed, information on deductibles and your expected out-of-pocket responsibility.