Schneck rolls out new online patient estimator tool


A new online tool will help patients decide if they want to have a medical procedure completed at Schneck Medical Center.

Starting Friday, patients can visit the Seymour hospital’s website at to use a patient estimator tool to calculate their out-of-pocket expense for a procedure.

Debbie Mann, Schneck’s vice president of finance and chief financial officer, explained the feature during a Schneck Medical Center board of trustees meeting Monday night.

All hospitals are required to make the cost of procedures available publicly, but Schneck’s online patient estimator tool goes an extra step, Mann said.

“This helps the patient decide if they want to choose Schneck,” she said. “What we see is when a patient knows they need a particular procedure, they will call different places to get a list price, but it may or may not be at all close to what their out-of-pocket cost is. This tool will actually tell them what their out-of-pocket will be if they come to Schneck.”

Schneck President and Chief Executive Officer Warren Forgey said the tool helps the hospital be transparent with prices and communicate better with patients and the public.

Patients will be required to enter their insurance information on the website and choose what type of procedure they are having done.

For most major insurance companies, the system will calculate the cost estimate based on the patient’s specific information, including whether they’ve met their health insurance deductible.

Mann said the hospital’s most commonly used procedures will be loaded into the system first.

“If you’re having something done that’s not very common, it won’t be on here,” she said.

But patients can still call the hospital and talk to a financial representative to get an estimate for any procedure, she said.

The amount the tool calculates is only an estimate, and the actual cost could be higher or lower, Mann said.

“In the course of treatment, things can happen to cause that amount to be different,” she said.

Also, the estimate does not qualify as prior authorization from an insurance company.

A reference number will be included with the estimate so patients can print the information out and bring it with them to the hospital.

“We will actually have the ability to track this, so if the patient chooses Schneck and the estimate is different than what their actual cost is, we can compare those two and help the patient determine where things went differently,” Mann said.

The new tool was reviewed by the hospital’s patient/family advisory council, which provided feedback on how user-friendly the tool is.

“We made a few tweaks based on their recommendations,” Mann said.

Additional changes may be made as people use the tool and provide feedback, she said.

“We definitely don’t want it to be confusing, especially if they are making choices about care and picking us,” she said.

Board attorney Susan Bevers said the tool is a great resource for the community.

“Generally today, when people are looking for this, they are much more likely to go to the website than to call in and ask for an estimate,” she said.

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