Effective December 1, 2018, Tower Health has lowered charges for a wide range of services, procedures, tests, medications, and supplies at Brandywine, Chestnut Hill, Jennersville, Phoenixville, and Pottstown Hospitals. Across the five hospitals, reductions will average approximately 30 percent.
The unprecedented move comes after Tower Health hired an independent, third-party reviewer to analyze the “charge master” at each hospital, comparing it against other hospitals in its region. Based on that analysis, Tower Health lowered charges at these five hospitals to make them more competitive within the market. Charges for Reading Hospital are already consistent with the regional market and will not change.
The charge master is the database of charges for every service, test, procedure, supply, or medicine that a patient might experience at the hospital. While hospitals rarely receive full charges as reflected in the data base, a hospital’s charge master often sets the baseline from which payor contracts are negotiated, and they can also influence out-of-pocket costs for patients. Tower Health projects that the lower charges will reduce its gross revenue calculations by approximately $1.69 billion across the five hospitals.
Tower Health has notified insurance companies of the upcoming reductions in these hospitals’ charges. Depending on their insurance coverage, patients may notice lower out-of-pocket costs. Existing insurer contracts with Tower Health remain in effect.
“When we founded Tower Health last year, one of our goals was to maximize the value of healthcare by providing high quality care at the lowest possible cost,” said Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health. “Reducing charges at these five hospitals is yet another way we demonstrate our commitment to be a trusted partner in the communities we serve. This is a continuing effort on which we will remain focused.”