Sparrow launches Patient Cost Estimator portal, relocates testing site in Charlotte

Eufemia Didonato

Patients at Sparrow Hospital may now access a Patient Cost Estimator portal to assist in making informed decisions about their care, according to a release Tuesday. 

The portal allows patients to search by the procedure from a menu of 300 services and to provide a customized estimate of out-of-pocket costs given an individual’s insurance details when applicable, the release states. 

Beginning Jan. 1, all hospitals operating in the U.S. will be required to provide “clear, accessible pricing information online” regarding the items and services providing, including payer-specific reimbursement, according to the release.

Sparrow’s portal released today exceeds government requirements by offering individualized estimates of out of pocket costs, the release states.

In February, Sparrow became the first health system in Lansing to display quality and safety metrics on widescreen monitors in all inpatient units.

Each board presented a series of rotating metrics measuring caregiver’s communication with patients and families, compliance with hand-washing standards and other measures specific to each inpatient unit.

The goal was to allow patients and their families to evaluate the hospital’s performance and to make a way in improving accountability and communication, according to the release.

According to the Sparrow website, the health system offers a Financial Assistance Program for those not covered by insurance who are unable to afford their services.

Patients with owed balances may be eligible for assistance based on a combination of family size and household income compared to U.S. poverty guidelines and may qualify for free or discounted care.

Insured patients may also be qualified for discounts on their deductible, coinsurance or copays owed, the website states. 

As Sparrow Eaton Hospital approaches 10,000 COVID-19 tests performed and expects increased demand in December, the hospital is relocating its testing site to the AL!VE health park in Charlotte, MI, according to a release Monday.

Starting Dec. 11, Mid-Michigan residents may access the drive-thru lane at the site to receive the COVID-19 PCR nasopharyngeal swab test Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“We appreciate the opportunity to continue offering this vital service close to home, while alleviating some of the traffic congestion we’ve experienced in our current location,” Laboratory Supervisor of Sparrow Eaton Hospital Suzanne Dezern said in the release. “We think AL!VE will be a perfect site to conduct testing more seamlessly while not disrupting its day-to-day operations.”

As of Nov. 16, Sparrow Health System patients must receive a physician order through a qualified medical provider or the MySparrow app prior to being administered a COVID-19 test. 

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