Fri, Jul 16, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Hospitals' online charge list still not clear: bureau

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Yesterday was the deadline for hospitals to post online announcements about which items patients must pay for themselves because they are not covered by the National Health Insurance system, but some hospitals' methods have invited criticism.

Officials at the Bureau of National Health Insurance said that some hospitals have made the online announcements on which items and what additional fees patients must pay out-of-pocket in obscure places on their Web site, or they have made it difficult for patients to figure out how much of their medical bills they must pay for themselves.

For example, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital posted a detailed and complete list of all of the types of medical expenses that patients must pay for themselves, from small items such as counseling fees to expensive surgeries with six-digit price tags, altogether the list is more than 1,000 pages long.

Some small clinics have not made the announcements online, but the bureau said all medical institutions must comply with the regulation or face potential fines.

Tsai Shu-ling (蔡淑鈴), a division director at the bureau, said that some small clinics that do not have official Web pages must post the announcements clearly in places where patients can see them, such as on registration windows.

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