Hospital Chargemasters

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Hospital Chargemasters

Understanding Hospital Chargemasters

Frequently Asked Questions

A charge description master (CDM) or “chargemaster” is a list of a hospital’s charges for the items and services it provides. Currently there are no industry standards for chargemasters, so you can’t use chargemasters from different hospitals to compare them.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires every hospital to post its chargemaster on its website. Posting chargemasters is an early step in a federal effort to make health care costs transparent to the public.

No. The prices you see listed are not your out-of-pocket costs. They are the costs calculated by the hospital to provide services and items. The chargemaster reflects prices before rates are negotiated with insurance companies or other discounts are applied. The amounts do not reflect your final cost or what you will be asked to pay.

You should contact your health insurance company to find out. If you don’t have health insurance, you can call a Nemours financial advocate at (844) 551-2065.