Health System Launches Price Transparency Program

As part of an effort to give patients meaningful and transparent price information to make better-informed decisions about their healthcare, St. Luke's University Health Network launched a price transparency program for patients with high-deductible health plans.

As part of an effort to give patients meaningful and transparent price information to make better-informed decisions about their healthcare, St. Luke’s University Health Network (headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) has launched PriceChecker, a price transparency program for patients with high-deductible health plans. It does not apply to patients with Medicare, Medicaid, and managed Medicare/Medicaid.

The PriceChecker program offers patients an option to pay a bundled price in advance of their service for specific common imaging studies and/or procedures, as well as specific common ambulatory surgical services.

“We believe we are the first full-service hospital and health system in the nation to offer this type of price transparency program,” Joel Fagerstrom, executive vice president and chief operating officer of St. Luke’s University Health Network, said in a statement. “St. Luke’s is leading the region’s health care providers in providing affordable health care options and in providing easily understandable pricing options for patients.”

The PriceChecker bundled price for surgical procedures includes:

  • Costs associated with use of operating/procedure room
  • Cost for physicians to perform procedure
  • Costs of any imaging/X-ray performed during the procedure along with the radiologist reading the study and providing a report
  • Cost of anesthesia services
  • Cost of post-operative visits at the physician’s offices

The PriceChecker bundled price for imaging studies includes:

  • The cost of the study
  • The cost of the radiologist reading the study and providing a report.

The PriceChecker bundled price does not include:

  • A visit with the patient’s physician prior to the surgery
  • Any specimens needing to be sent to the lab for analysis and pathologist’s report
  • Any unusual implants/hardware or special devices needed during the procedure that are not typically used
  • Any services needed prior to or after the procedure such as lab tests, imaging, physical therapy, EKGs, etc.
  • An appointment with a cardiologist or primary care physician documenting that you are able to receive the procedure in your current condition

All of St. Luke’s hospitals and outpatient locations will participate in the bundled pricing except for the New Jersey locations. St. Luke’s University Health Network comprises 6 hospitals in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey.