Charge Description Master (CDM)
Charge Description Master
The Charge Description Master (CDM), or chargemaster, is a comprehensive listing of items that could be billed to a patient, payer or healthcare provider. Hospital chargemasters are lengthy and complex documents. Persons interested in estimating the cost of future care or comparing similar services of various hospitals should consider the following additional information.
The Hospital Charges on this list are the amounts set before any discounts or contractual agreements with third party payers. Hospitals are required by the federal government to utilize uniform charges as the starting point for all bills.
The prices on this list are for Hospital services only. Hospital services typically include charges for admission to or use of the facility, its infrastructure, and its equipment and the services of its personnel, such as nurses and technicians.
Hospital Charges typically do not include Physician services or the necessary services of other providers, such as personnel retained by the physician, or the services of outside facilities. Patients will be responsible for these other charges in addition to the Hospital Charges.
Hospital Charges are based on the type of care that is actually provided and can differ from patient to patient for the same service. The differences between patients are related to complications or varying treatments needed due to the patient's health. Even though the hospital's prices on this list are the same for all patients, actual charges for each specific patient may vary due to the utilization of all items, but item to item the listed standard charge will be the same per item.
A patient's responsibility may vary, depending on payment plans negotiated between the facility and the individual health insurers and within the terms of coverage for each patient under the terms of their individual coverage with additional consideration of copays and deductibles.
Many patients who seek hospital charge information are interested in knowing their potential out-of-pocket financial responsibility. This is an opportunity to have important conversations regarding finances. Those with health insurance can be directed to contact their health plan for specific financial obligations. Those without health insurance will be provided information related to the hospital's financial assistance policy, and any prompt pay or other discounts that could be applied.