By Mary Alice Murphy
Doug Oakes, GRMC marketing director, said Gila Regional Medical Center is trying to give information to consumers, so they can make decisions on where to receive care at the most affordable prices.
"The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are requiring hospitals to put the information on their pricing on their websites," Oakes continued.
Richard Stokes, GRMC chief financial officer, said Gila Regional has the ability to give comparisons to those looking to see how charges at Gila Regional stack up against other facilities in the area, including Mountainview and Memorial hospitals in Las Cruces and Mimbres Memorial in Deming.
"We’re a community," Stokes said. "We try to keep the patient at the forefront of what we do. This comparison was developed by a disinterested third party, Hospital Pricing Specialists out of California. They use CMS data from adjudicated payments. It costs us $6,000 to get this third-party comparison, while other hospitals don't spend anything by just putting spreadsheets on their websites. We felt it was important to give information to the customers, so they can make informed decisions."
Oakes described it as simple, clear and easy to understand useful information the community needs. "It's an apples-to-apples comparison."
Where on the website can one find this extensive and comprehensive price list?
Stokes said when one goes to the www.grmc.org website, one of the options is Pay Your Bill. Click on that and then on the hospital pricing list or go to this link:
"We hope people will use it for what we intended it to be used for—comparison of prices for procedures and pharmaceuticals," Stokes said.
He said ever since he has been at Gila Regional, which is coming up on one year, "I hear that our prices are the highest in the area. It's just not true. These comparisons, for the most part show that we are lower in price, with some being about equal to other facilities' charges and only a few higher than other hospitals."