The chargemaster is the heart of billing and revenue operations at a hospital. Basically, it is a list of all the services and other items offered at a hospital. Any fees associated with a visit will be recorded in this document. Regularly checking these for accuracy is the key to maintaining price transparency and integrity at a site. Here are frequently asked questions about these important documents and how hospital administration can avoid overpayment, underpayment, claim rejections, and compliance violations associated with a faulty chargemaster. 

What Are They?

A chargemaster is a document that summarizes the cost of services for a hospital and some physicians’ offices. Hospital administration may also use them to track the amount of service provided, the cost of various care, and overall hospital income. Chargemasters typically include item numbers, procedure codes, item descriptions, revenue codes, fees, additional codes, departmental designations, and an accounting ledger. Since each hospital determines its own price for services and other fees, this is a crucial document for billing. 

Do They Require Maintenance?

The designated chargemaster management team is responsible for regular maintenance that keeps it up to date. This is a continuous process designed to keep your chargemaster as accurate as possible so that you make accurate charges, comply with government regulations, and receive proper compensation. Maintaining your document can impact your bottom line more than reaching for a GSA contract or another source of income. However, it is also challenging to keep up with the changing codes and regulations, and administrators often leave this to the professionals. 

How Do They Improve Price Transparency?

Previously, hospitals created their own pricing methods and kept this information private from patients, health insurance officials, and other medical facilities. However, this industry has seen a recent push for price transparency that has changed how hospitals calculate their prices and display their chargemasters. Now, providers can use the internet to display their prices for various services. This has allowed chargemasters from different establishments to be compared by patients and providers, so these individuals can find the best locations and understand the pricing data before their visit. 

The chargemaster is the heart of a hospital’s billing and revenue department. The list is important because it documents how much a site receives as compensation for services. To help improve your chargemaster, you need to perform regular maintenance and strive for price transparency. This information can help hospital administrators improve their bottom line and make their pricing data easy for patients to understand. 

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