Charges

These are the published prices of services provided by a facility. HCFA requires hospitals to apply the same schedule of charges to all patients, regardless of the expected sources or amount of payment. Controversy exists today because of the often wide disparity between published prices and contract prices. The majority of payers, including Medicare and Medicaid, are becoming managed by health plans which negotiate rates lower than published prices. Often these negotiated rates average 40% to 60% of the published rates and may be all inclusive bundled rates.