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Michigan hospital puts pricing online

Oakwood Healthcare has taken steps to provide transparency in reporting procedure pricing by making it available to patients through its Web site. The site will provide pricing information for surgeries, tests and procedures at Oakwood Healthcare.

Oakwood is the first healthcare system in southeast Michigan to post pricing information on its Web site. "As a result of consumer feedback, Oakwood is proactively moving into the next era of healthcare by providing a more meaningful and transparent system for reporting both cost and quality," said Brian Connolly, chief executive officer, OHI.

"With consumers paying more and more directly for healthcare services, we believe that having access to this important information will result in patients making more informed healthcare decisions - and above all, lead healthier lives."

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Oakwood has partnered with the Michigan Health & Hospital Association for the development and launching of its MIHospitalInform.org Web site, scheduled to debut in January 2008. The MHA site will include data from Medicare, featuring the top 50 inpatient and outpatient procedures. In addition to consumer feedback, Oakwood partnered with both insurance payers and employers in the development of the pricing portion of its Web site.

"Everyone wants more information, they want to be educated," said Julie Peltier, director of hospital contracting for OHCS/Multiplan insurance company. "We as insurance companies need to try to educate members and encourage them to make more educated decisions on where they're going to receive services, and Oakwood's transparency program helps us accomplish this goal," said Peltier.

The pricing provided by Oakwood Healthcare does not include physician and other professional fees and charge of service may vary based on pre-existing health conditions, severity of illness, insurance coverage and the procedure performed.