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Published on December 31, 2020

An Easier Way to Figure Out What That Hospital Visit May Cost 

A new online tool helps people estimate costs before getting care.  


A new online tool can help people estimate how much they will pay for the most common medical procedures and services before they get them. 

“We want everyone to be able to make informed health care choices,” says Mike Simms, MBA, vice president of revenue cycle for Cone Health. “Our online self-service tools are part of our effort to offer pricing transparency and convenience.” 

As with all estimates, Cone Health’s self-service tools cannot guarantee what someone may be charged. 

“Self-service estimates are only as accurate as the information the person provides,” shares Simms. That information includes not only the operation, procedure or test a person is pricing, but their insurance plan as well. “There are many variables, ranging from an individual’s health plan to the complexity and severity of a condition, that impacts the actual out-of-pocket costs,” Simms points out.  

Cone Health patients and those shopping for services can get estimates based on their health insurance plan. When using Cone Health’s online estimator, people with MyChart accounts have direct access to their health plan information. However, there is an option to enter health plan information manually or receive an estimate for those without insurance. 

While these estimates cover a range of services and fees, they may not include all costs. Radiologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists, emergency room physicians and others who are not employed by Cone Health charge “professional fees.” These are charged separately and not included in the Cone Health estimate.  

“When people are more informed about financial aspects of their care, they have an even better understanding of the services they receive,” concludes Simms. “As with most services, people should also consider the quality of care and access to the providers they trust as they make health care decisions.”