SEATTLE, May 8, 2013 – We fully support the government for taking action toward making our health care system more affordable and accountable. Today’s release of data showing significant variation across the country and within our communities in what hospitals charge for common inpatient Medicare services is a good initial step in reforming the health care system.
Hospital care is unique and costs are complex that are usually based on each individual patient and their specific needs. Every situation is different, even when the patients may have undergone the same procedure, depending on their type of procedure, level of care and location of service.
To get the most meaningful information, we encourage patients to talk with their doctor and his/her staff, along with their insurance company and hospital-billing department to discuss actual costs of their care.
As part of the Washington State Hospital Association, Swedish has been part of WSHA’s voluntary, statewide effort to make pricing and quality information available to consumers for years. That information is available here:
Over the past year, Swedish has been actively looking at its costs and billing structures to find new and better ways to minimize the costs of care for our patients. We will continue to analyze and review today’s release of health care cost data as part of our analysis.
As a non-profit, community-based health system, Swedish provided more than $126 million of community benefits in 2012.