Looking to know how much your health care will cost? McLaren Greater Lansing has a tool to help

Let's face it, nobody wants to have a surprise medical bill, but it happens to many people who have no way of knowing the cost of medical procedures before undergoing them.

McLaren doesn't want patients to be left in the dark when it comes to financial responsibilities and has invested in an estimating tool called CarePricer to help guide an open and transparent conversation through McLaren's Cost of Care program.

This program is designed to inform a patient of their financial obligation prior to an elective or
non-emergency procedure. As part of the program, a representative from the hospital meets with a patient to discuss their financial obligations and options, providing an opportunity for the patient to ask any questions and get help to connect to resources that may be available to them.

The CarePricer software is an accurate, real-time estimation tool that models the site-specific insurance contracts to the patient's insurance plan. CarePricer cross checks the charge description master and billing system, taking an average cost over the last 12 months for the specific procedure (CPT code) or charge code. The result is a real-time, realistic estimate for the patient regarding the cost of their care.

Financial planning for medical expenses can be extremely difficult for patients given the vast number of insurance plans and changing coverages. With the Cost of Care program, McLaren is working to alleviate the unnecessary stress associated with vague or confusing insurance coverage. CarePricer allows patients to be involved in the financial aspect of their care before they receive services.

For those who may have difficulty with their financial obligations, McLaren Greater Lansing offers financial assistance programs. Patients may apply for Medicaid and could qualify for discounted services based on financial need. Staff also have the ability to work with patients to set up a payment plan that fits the patient's budget.

McLaren Health Care's mission is to be the best value in health care as defined by quality outcomes