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18. Assessment of charges and assistance in maximizing revenues

Most hospitals assess their 'Charge Masters' annually and, through a series of permutations, arrive at charges intended to produce maximum revenue while retaining reasonable charges within its service area.

M.L. Schwartz & Associates has teamed with an organization which provides an online pricing service, an economical Internet-based analytical tool providing comprehensive reports and data. The service provides comparative reports related to hospital charges and market concentrations allowing instant comparison of your hospital’s performance relative to any other hospitals you choose.

The reports are available for:
     • Inpatient services
     • Ambulatory surgery services
     • Non-surgical outpatient services
Comparative data related to the reports are available in complete roll-up form, by service line, by case, and by line item charge. Reports are convenient case-mix and service-mix adjusted and contain mechanisms that consider the effect of severity of illness. Once a report is run, the data are completely exportable for further analysis using Microsoft Access and Excel.
The service is offered on a subscription basis and is maintained in a manner to assure that the latest available data are accessible. Online pricing should become an integral tool for your organization related to:

     1. Defensible pricing strategies
     2. Understanding transparency related to pricing and consumer directed health plans
     3. Self-pay discounting and expert defense
     4. Market comparative pricing by service line
     5. Budgeting and allocating charge increases relative to your competitive market
     6. Managed care contract negotiations
     7. Packaging of services
     8. Net Revenue Modeling
     9. Day-to-day look-up for charge items in the Charge Master
     10. Feasibility price estimates for new services and CON justification

Data has become a commodity. What differentiates this online pricing service is the value of the analyses included in the system, allowance for custom-defined markets based on the purpose of the comparison, its instantaneous availability, as well as its ability to make data available for independent analysis.

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