Antelope Memorial Pricing Explanation
Antelope Memorial Hospital has a charge for each service provided. Because each of our patients is unique, the specific services ordered by your physician vary from patient to patient. Therefore, charges may be different for patients with the same condition. Some items that influence your total charges are your length of stay, medications given, supplies used, and complications that arise.
Antelope Memorial Hospital can give you an estimate of the cost for a planned procedure but it is impossible to predict what the actual final charges will be.
Why Charges May Differ Among Hospitals
There are many reasons that charges may differ among hospitals. Among them are the following:
Payer mix - As with other businesses, hospitals cannot survive if costs exceed revenues over a long period of time. Government programs (like Medicare and Medicaid) generally reimburse hospitals at rates that do not cover all costs they incur to provide care.
Hospital cost structures - Hospitals differ in their approach to pricing based on operational costs. Some hospitals try to spread the cost of all services and equipment among all patients. Others establish charges for specific services based on the cost to provide each specific service. Furthermore, some hospitals may decide, or be forced, to provide certain services at a loss while other hospital operations subsidize the losses. Any of these situations can result in significantly different charges among hospitals for a given type of service.
New technology - The equipment hospitals use to provide care differs in age, sophistication and frequency of use and may impact the charges of the hospital.
Staffing costs - Salary scales may differ by region. Shortages of nurses and other medical personnel may affect regions differently. Where shortages are more severe, staffing costs, and, therefore charges, may be higher.
Service frequency - The per-patient cost of services is generally higher if the type of hospitalization occurs infrequently. Furthermore, a single case with unusually high or low charges can greatly affect a hospital's average charge if the hospital reported only a few cases in a given time period.
Documentation / Coding - Hospitals are required to follow correct coding guidelines and to code all the conditions documented in the patient's medical record. The hospital bill will reflect charges to the greatest level of specificity as documented in the medical record by clinicians. Hospitals vary in their coding systems and personnel and in the number of billing codes they routinely include on a billing form.
Capital expenses - Hospitals differ in the amount of debt and depreciation they must cover in their charge structure. A hospital with a lot of debt may have higher charges than a hospital not facing such expenses. Furthermore, hospitals may choose to lease or purchase equipment. The choices made about financing of capital projects may affect charges in different ways.