VitalWare Recommendations

Consumer Friendly Descriptions

Chargemaster descriptions are very cryptic; this is the result of hospital billing systems that limit the space to describe supplies, drugs and services that are stored in the chargemaster.


These descriptions are built for clinicians to select the appropriate supplies, drugs or services and are difficult for patient consumers to understand. 


This is a typical description for a bone screw in a chargemaster:  "SCREW BNE LCP SSL 10MM".   A patient friendly description would read "IMPLANT DEVICE - BONE SCREW" sizes, model numbers, brands do not matter to the patient.


Our recommendations are to post the Charge (CDM) number, a "Patient -consumer friendly description" and the price.  Patients do not understand revenue codes, HCPCS codes or CPT codes.  Therefore we recommend that these fields not be included in the information that is posted publicly.


VitalWare has created a vocabulary algorithm to convert hospital descriptions to consumer friendly descriptions and will provide this service to our hospital clients.

Our approach

No Codes: CPT®, HCPCS, ICD-10 PCS or Revenue Codes

CPT, HCPCS, ICD-10-PCS and revenue codes are designed for use by healthcare professionals and do not help patients understand their charges. In order to return a relevant list of current standard charges, we recommend filtering out line items with minimal usage of less than 10 times within a calendar year. 

Patients would not know what to search for

CMS did not mandate that the list of current standard charges be searchable, although the charges must be in a machine-readable format. We believe that a searchable database would add to patient confusion as most patients would not understand which terms to search on in order to obtain meaningful results.

Patient Friendly - Plain English Descriptions

CDM descriptions are often ambiguous and confusing and rarely qualify as patient/consumer friendly. VitalWare has created consumer-friendly descriptions for each of your CDM line items in order to help facilitate pricing transparency goals.