On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new online tool that allows consumers to compare Medicare payments and copayments for certain procedures that are performed in both hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgical centers.
The Procedure Price Lookup tool displays national averages for the amount Medicare pays the hospital or ambulatory surgical center and the national average copayment amount a beneficiary with no Medicare supplemental insurance would pay the provider.
The Procedure Price Lookup tool is launching as required by Congress in the 21st Century Cures Act. Medicare’s statutes require that CMS maintain separate payment systems for different types of healthcare providers, meaning both CMS and patients may pay different amounts for the same service, depending on the site of care.
Procedure Price Lookup, part of the agency’s eMedicare initiative, joins other patient-oriented transparency tools, including an overhauled version of the agency’s drug pricing and spending dashboards, which provide patients with Medicare and Medicaid spending information for thousands more drugs than ever before and, for the first time, list the prescription drug manufacturers that were responsible for price increases.
CMS recently launched the eMedicare initiative to empower beneficiaries with cost and quality information. This announcement included the launch of an enhanced interactive online decision support feature to help people better understand and evaluate their Medicare coverage options. eMedicare also offers a mobile-optimized out-of-pocket cost calculator to provide beneficiaries with information on overall plan costs and prescription drug costs.
The Procedure Price Lookup tool is available at Medicare.gov.