CMS Price Transparency

To help patients better understand the cost of health care and patient financial responsibilities, UW Health provides a list of standard charges for their hospital locations.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires each hospital to post a list of their standard charges — a Charge Description Master (CDM) — in a machine-readable format and update the data at least annually. A standard charge means the regular rate established by the hospital for an item or service provided to a specific group of paying patients.

For purposes of complying with the Hospital Price Transparency Final Rule, this includes five types of standard charges: gross charge, discounted cash price, payor-specific negotiated charge, de-identified minimum negotiated charge, and de-identified maximum negotiated charge. CMS intended that this information would help patients with improved information regarding price transparency.

The CDM and the corresponding standard charges themselves may not provide the appropriate price transparency for the patient as a patient’s out-of-pocket cost is not determined by the standard charges of a hospital alone. The out-of-pocket cost is driven primarily by:

  • Any copay, deductible, and/or coinsurance required by the patient’s benefit plan; and

  • The negotiated charge that the patient’s insurance carrier will pay the hospital, which is generally less than the standard charges.

  • Any patient that is uninsured will pay the discounted cash price.

If you still wish to review the CDM, please understand the following:

  • The descriptions in the CDM may not be understandable to the layperson.

  • The inpatient total charge amount and reimbursement rates for many procedures is made up of many individual charge items from the CDM.

  • Due to variations in individual physician practice patterns, as well as individual patient differences and the potential for unforeseen complications, charges may vary based on the patient’s situation. Payer specific negotiated charges are sometimes not at the charge master item level and therefore we are unable to provide these amounts at this level of detail.

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics – Madison

  • University Hospital

  • East Madison Hospital

  • American Family Children's Hospital

 View the standard charge listing (xlsx)

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics – Northern Illinois

  • SwedishAmerican Hospital

  • Belvidere Hospital

  • SwedishAmerican Medical Group

View the standard charge listing (xlsx)

Note: When you click the links below for standard charges, the file(s) will download to your computer or mobile device