Clay Gordon’s recent interview with Dr. Chandra Bondugula turned out to be highly insightful. ZeaMed Team is proud to announce that ZeaMed successfully got featured in 10TV as a price transparency leader.

A few weeks back, Clay Gordon, leading anchor/reporter of 10TV, interviewed our founder and CEO, Dr. Chandra Bondugula. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made it mandatory for all hospitals across the USA to publish transparent hospital prices in a machine-readable format and 300 shoppable services on hospitals’ websites. ZeaMed stepped in to bring transparency by creating a price transparency tool and compliance engine and helping hospitals meet the CMS compliance requirements.

ZeaMed started in 2018 with a mission to bring total transparency to healthcare and empower Americans with healthcare cost information to make informed care decisions before seeking care. We have created fantastic price comparison tools for consumers to compare the costs of health services.

We researched well, collected data, and transformed and analyzed data from 5130 hospitals, making  ZeaTool the most valuable tool for consumers, hospitals, academics, researchers, insurance, media, and government. The arduous task of analyzing all these hospitals’ data took more than three months. Despite facing technical issues with hospital websites, we didn’t give up and reviewed it multiple times for accuracy. Data reveals that only 1688 hospitals are compliant, according to ZeaTool. 

If CMS audits these non-compliant hospitals, $287 million in penalties can be recovered from them. In Ohio, 84% of hospitals were non-compliant and can be penalized up to $13 million.

According to research and anecdotal notes from industry experts, most people fail to use the price transparency tools to make the right choice. There could be many reasons for not using the tools: patients are unaware of the tools; the data is not organized in a consumer-friendly manner; unable to understand the billing codes and complex coding vocabulary, etc. Consumers have the right to know the pricing information. 

ZeaMed makes it easier for consumers to understand healthcare prices. ZeaMed is helping consumers by showing the cost of services like gross price, discounted cash price, minimum and maximum negotiated insurance prices. ZeaMed posts ZeaPearls daily so that consumers will be able to check the price one at a time. 

ZeaMed also initiated ZeaPledge, a pledge taken by everyone to bring price transparency. ZeaMed honors hospitals that publish charge master data, shoppable services, an estimator tool, and beyond to help their patients. 

There is a considerable price variation amongst these hospitals. The charges for major Hip and Knee Replacement without/MCC (major complications and comorbid conditions) are compared below.

Price Variation Analysis:

The Ohio State University Hospital charges $95410 as gross charge with a discounted cash price of $38164 (40% discount), whereas the James Cancer Hospital charges $137912 with a discounted cash price of $55165 (40% discount). The James Cancer Hospital sets $42502 more than the Ohio State University Hospital. The Ohio State University de-identified minimum negotiated charge of $65884, and the de-identified maximum negotiated amount is $128415.

The Ohio Health group of hospitals (Doctors hospitals, Dublin Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center, and Riverside Methodist Hospital) charges $92839 as gross price, $60345 as discounted cash price, and $29005 minimum negotiated $72473 as maximum negotiated charge. 

Hardin Memorial Hospital and O’Bleness Hospital charge $73193 as gross price, $47575 as discounted cash price, $34160 as minimum negotiated charge, and $72473 as maximum negotiated charge.

Mansfield Hospital and Shelby Hospital charge $51502 as gross price, $33476 as discounted cash price, $34160 as minimum negotiated charge, and $70298 as maximum negotiated charge. 

Grady Memorial Hospital charges $66924 as gross price, $43501 as discounted cash price, $47107 as minimum negotiated charge, and $68849 as maximum negotiated charge.

Berger Hospital charges $52924 as gross, $34400 as discounted cash, $40751 as minimum negotiated price, and $50807 as maximum negotiated price.

The Mount Carmel St. Ann’s charges $49573 as gross price, $37180 as discounted cash price, and $13385 as minimum negotiated and minimum negotiated charges with insurance companies.

The Mount Carmel East charged $51410 as gross price, $38558 as discounted cash price. The Mount Carmel New Albany set $49785 as gross price, $37338 as discounted cash price, $11761 as minimum negotiated charge, and 11791 as maximum negotiated charge.

There is a significant variation amongst the hospitals and so within the same health system. For example, the James Cancer Hospital charges the highest gross price at $137912, and Mansfield & Shelby hospitals charge $51502. The range is from $51502 to $137912.

Within Ohio Health, five hospitals charge $92839, one hospital charges $66924, two hospitals charge $73193, and two hospitals charge $51502. The range is from $51502 to $92839

ZeaMed’s featuring in 10TV News has further amplified confidence in consumers to use ZeaMed to compare healthcare prices before purchasing. Once they see and understand the pricing information, consumers may demand providers and insurance companies for transparent costs. ZeaMed strongly believes that consumers will be in the driver seat and demand transparency and ultimately shop low-cost and quality efficient services. Zeatool and ZeaMed are in a great position to support the needs of consumers and will remove the barriers between patients and providers. 

You can look at our website here to know more about transparent prices and ZeaMed’s initiatives to help consumers and other stakeholders.