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posted: 11/30/2017 11:33 AM

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers online cost estimator

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By Keith Hartenberger
Edward-Elmhurst Health

Edward-Elmhurst Health is the first hospital or health system in the area, and among the first in the nation, to provide an online cost estimator tool to help patients plan their health care expenses.

The tool, available on the Edward-Elmhurst website at www.EEHealth.org/cost-estimator, is part of the system's Consumer Driven Health strategy, which emphasizes making health care convenient, accessible and transparent for patients and their families.

"Hospitals have notoriously been behind on pricing transparency compared to other industries," says Mary Lou Mastro, System CEO, Edward-Elmhurst Health.

"We owe it to our customers to take the mystery out of the process and provide this information so they can make more informed decisions for their health care."

The tool is accessible on any device -- smartphone, tablet, or laptop/desktop computer. It provides estimated prices for services offered by Edward Hospital in Naperville and Elmhurst Hospital.

After selecting the hospital, the cost estimator calculates the out-of-pocket cost following completion of three simple steps:

• Enter insurance information (or select self pay for uninsured patients);

• Choose a service category;

• Choose a procedure.

The tool provides cost estimates for MRIs, CT scans, CTAs (computed tomographic angiography), ultrasounds, X-rays, cardiac testing, mammographies, bone density testing and lab services.

For patients with insurance, a cost estimate is determined based on any remaining balance to meet the insurance plan's deductible, coinsurance percentage and any co-pay requirements, along with the insurance plan's allowable amount (also referred to as the negotiated contract rates) for the requested procedure.

It does not currently provide cost estimates for inpatient stays, observation stays/visits, ER visits, Immediate Care visits or professional fees (separate charges from affiliated providers, such as radiologists and anesthesiologists).

Additional tests and procedures will be added to the cost estimator tool in the near future.

To get an estimate for a test or procedure that's not listed on the cost estimator tool, patients can call (630) 527-3200 for services at Edward and Elmhurst hospitals, and (630) 305-5027 for Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.

For more information, visit www.EEHealth.org.

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