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New service provides up-front health care pricing

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – How would you like to know exactly how much you’re going to spend on health care before you step foot in a doctor’s office? A new tool from the Community Health Network aims to do just that.

The service is available online and people can also call and talk to live representative who will walk patients through the process and then get you a price before you head to the hospital. Indianapolis residents say the health care industry is hard to navigate.

“Health care is extremely expensive in the United States,” Indianapolis native Kent Emswiller said.

Chief Patient Experience Officer Tom Malasto says Community Health Network’s goal is to make sure people know what to expect.

“Health care is complicated,” Malasto said. “The financial side of this business is very complicated for the consumer and for the patient and their family. This is a customized estimate. We’re not giving a generic estimate price. We’re customizing it to what their insurance coverage is and where they are in their cycle of co-pays and deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.”

There are two ways this tool works. You can call or go to online and fill out the form.

“You’ll be talking to a live person that’ll help you and walk you through the process,” Malasto said. “Or if you prefer to enter something online and send an email we’ve got a form that facilitates that electronically as well.”

The new Central Pricing Office is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it has people answering phone calls then passing that information on to analysts. It takes about two days to get a customized health care price quote.