Are members of the group assessing their chargemasters annually? What do they consider when deciding which charges to increase and by how much?
Do you increase charges across the board or only items that increase that will affect payment in a positive way (e.g., implants versus supplies assuming some contracts carve-out specific revenue codes)?
Most of our contracts require renegotiation if chargemaster increases would impact payment by a certain percentage. Do you increase just enough to not trigger the lowest reassessment on an annual basis?
Answer: I’ve seen across the board increases and strategic increases based on service lines or where the mix is heavy commercial/HMO. With most contracts, hospitals should give themselves some leeway so they can increase up to a certain percentage without notification. Managing neutrality can be difficult, but it depends on the financial benefits and risk.
This question was answered by: Caswell Samms, III, vice president and CFO, WellStar Kennestone, Marrietta, Ga.
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