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Price Transparency

WakeMed is providing the following information in accordance with federal guidelines outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of a national effort to improve price transparency and is required by all hospitals.

At WakeMed, we are committed to supporting price transparency in an effort to help our patients and their families better understand their health care costs. Due to the complexity of hospital billing and the wide variety of insurance plan options, your best option for understanding your out-of-pocket costs for health care services is to speak directly with your insurance company or to request an estimate from our financial services team. For those patients that do not have access to insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, WakeMed offers financial assistance in the form of discounts or reductions to our standard charges.

Also as a courtesy, we’ve provided some general information to help patients begin to understand the complex world of health care billing.

How Much Will My Treatment Cost?

WakeMed realizes that the cost of health care is a concern for our patients.

To help you when making decisions, our team can provide you with an estimate of the charges associated with the treatment and services you are expected to receive.

You may inquire by phone using our Estimate Line at 919-350-7808 or by filling out this form. Please keep in mind that this is only an estimate. Actual charges may vary, depending on the treatment you receive. You are encouraged to ask us any questions relating to the services you may receive.

Patients without insurance may qualify for a discount based on our charity care and patient financial assistance policies.

Average Hospital Charges

You can view a comprehensive list of all hospital charges via our chargemaster.* This information is provided in accordance with state and federal guidelines, but can easily cause confusion for patients looking for answers to questions about actual cost of care or specific hospital bills.  Learn more about the chargemaster.

*The information in the chargemaster above is a comprehensive list of charges for each inpatient and outpatient service or item provided by WakeMed. All charges shown are accurate as of April 15, 2020.  While our hospital charges are the same for all patients, the actual amount billed and/or your financial obligation will vary greatly – depending on the specific services provided for each visit and the type of insurance you have. Because charges for certain medications, supplies, etc. may fluctuate throughout the year, these charges may not match what you receive on your statement.

For more information about the cost of your care, we encourage you to contact our Patient Financial Services team or your insurance company.

How to Contact our Patient Financial Services Team with Specific Questions:

  • Cost Estimates: To receive an estimate of charges for future service, call 919-350-7808 or fill out this form. Listen carefully to the menu options and choose the one that best meets your needs. Please keep in mind that this is only an estimate. Actual charges may vary depending on the treatment your physician orders for you.
  • Billing Questions: WakeMed provides billing customer service by phone at 919-350-8359 or toll free at (877) 498-4490. The call center business hours are Monday - Friday 7:30 am - noon and 1 pm - 6:30 pm.

Hospital Billing Definitions

It's challenging to explain health care billing without a common understanding of a few frequently used terms. Here are several health care billing terms that relate to price transparency defined. View a full glossary.

  • Charge: Hospital charges include many factors such as equipment, supplies, medications as well as the differences in care required to meet individual patient needs. Hospitals are required to determine a set charge for tens of thousands of items. These charges are maintained in the Chargemaster.
  • Payment: Payment refers to the amount a hospital receives from a payer for providing care. Three primary types of payers include: the government (through Medicare and Medicaid); commercial insurers such as BCBS, Aetna, Cigna, etc. and; patients. Payment from patients with insurance include out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance or non covered amounts by their respective insurance plan.
  • DRG (or MS-DRG): A DRG (diagnosis-related group) is the system Medicare and some insurance companies use to classify and categorize charges for inpatient hospitalization. The DRG is based on a patient’s diagnoses and surgery when performed. Medicare and/or other payers use the assigned DRG to pay the hospital a set (fixed) amount – regardless of the actual charges for the patient’s hospital stay.

Chargemaster FAQ

View a more comprehensive Chargemaster FAQ.

What is a Chargemaster?

A chargemaster is a comprehensive list of charges for each inpatient and outpatient service or item provided by a hospital – each test, exam, surgical procedure, room charge, etc. Given the many services provided by hospitals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a chargemaster contains thousands of services and related charges.

Chargemaster amounts are almost never billed to a patient or received as payment by a hospital. The chargemaster amounts are billed to an insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid, and those insurers then apply their contracted rates to the services that are billed. In situations where a patient does not have insurance, our hospital has financial assistance policies. If a patient is eligible for financial assistance, a discount will be applied to the charged amount.

Financial & Charity Care Policies