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Oakwood is First Healthcare System in Southeast Michigan to Post Pricing Information on Web Site

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. (OHI) today became the first healthcare system in southeast Michigan to post the most up-to-date and comprehensive pricing information for hundreds of surgeries, tests and procedures on its Web site, This is a natural step forward as Oakwood was the first healthcare system in southeast Michigan to begin posting key quality outcomes on its Web site more than two years ago.

"As a result of consumer feedback, Oakwood is proactively moving into the next era of healthcare by providing a more meaningful and transparent system for reporting both cost and quality," said Brian Connolly, chief executive officer, OHI. "With consumers paying more and more directly for healthcare services, we believe that having access to this important information will result in patients making more informed healthcare decisions - and above all, lead healthier lives."

Oakwood has also worked in partnership with the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) in the development and launch of the Web site, scheduled to debut in January 2008. The MHA site includes data from Medicare, featuring the top 50 inpatient and outpatient procedures. Together, Oakwood and the MHA are leading the way by voluntarily releasing detailed quality and pricing information.

In addition to consumer feedback, Oakwood partnered with both insurance payors and employers in the development of the pricing portion of its Web site.

"Everyone wants more information, they want to be educated," said Julie Peltier, director of hospital contracting for OHCS/Multiplan insurance company. "We as insurance companies need to try to educate members and encourage them to make more educated decisions on where they're going to receive services, and Oakwood's transparency program helps us accomplish this goal," said Peltier.

Transparency in healthcare is becoming a necessity as consumers become more and more involved in healthcare costs and needs. In today's challenging economic climate, consumers are paying more for healthcare and, as a result, are becoming more independent and involved when it comes to financing healthcare services. Dearborn-based Ford Motor Company employs approximately 300,000 employees and 108 plants worldwide. Oakwood's readily accessible pricing information will allow Ford employees to become more involved in their healthcare decisions as well.

"Ford commends Oakwood for making this type of information publicly available," said Dr. Walter Talamonti, Ford Motor Company Medical Director. "Our health plans are consumer-driven and we ask participants to be more involved in all aspects of care. They can't do that without complete information, and very few truly know what medical procedures cost. This is an important step in the right direction."

It is important to note the listed costs do not include physician and other professional fees and the actual charge of service may vary based on pre-existing health conditions, severity of illness, insurance coverage and the procedure performed. However, Oakwood feels the posting of this data is an important first step in controlling costs and achieving better health outcomes for our patients.

Oakwood is committed to frequently updating and expanding its pricing and quality information. This project is yet another example of how Oakwood is continuing its mission of providing excellent healthcare to our patients and the communities we serve.

SOURCE Oakwood Healthcare System
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