Resources to help understand and compare health care costs

At Children’s Minnesota, we agree that transparency about the cost of health care is important. Listed below are several resources to help patient families understand and compare costs.

Children’s Minnesota cost estimate

For the most accurate estimate of the cost of care, patient families can contact Children’s Minnesota at [email protected] or call 952-992-5627 for assistance in understanding the charges and related costs for a procedure or visit. You will need to provide some basic information, which is listed on the Billing and financial matters page under “How can I find out ahead of time what something will cost?”

Minnesota Hospital Price Check

The Minnesota Hospital Price Check tool from Minnesota Hospital Association allows you to compare up to three Minnesota hospitals at a time, including information about average procedure charges, length of stay and other details.

Children’s Minnesota standard charges

To improve price transparency, all U.S. hospitals and health systems are required to provide lists of standard hospital charges ― also called a chargemaster ― so patients can compare prices across hospitals. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you view the Children’s Minnesota list of standard charges (chargemaster).

  • These charges are rarely the price that patients pay. The chargemaster lists the dollar amount set for each service prior to insurance contract/benefit plan discounts or self-pay discounts being applied, so the price patients pay tends to be less than the standard charge.
  • Hospital charges differ from patient to patient for the same service depending upon variations in treatment.
  • Patients who are eligible for financial assistance also receive additional discounts.
  • Items included in a charge vary across hospital systems. For example, what’s included in one hospital’s charge for room and board may differ from other hospital’s charge ― some hospitals bundle services together into a single charge that others may list separately.
  • Looking at various hospital charges does not provide any indication of quality of service and outcomes.
  • Procedures performed at a pediatric hospital, like Children’s Minnesota, have different requirements than similar procedures performed elsewhere on adults. That’s because caring for children is different, and providing specialty pediatric care includes higher nurse-to-patient ratios, specific equipment designed for children, longer recovery times for kids vs. adults, and wrap-around care for children and families.

Children’s Minnesota average charges by type of patient group

All hospitals and health systems also are required to provide a listing of average charges by types of patient groups, referred to as MS-DRGs (Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Groups). Patient families can view similar listings posted by different hospitals, which provide a more direct comparison of charges than the standard charges in the chargemaster. View the Children’s Minnesota list of average charges by type of patient group (MS-DRGs).

Financial assistance

Children's offers financial assistance for eligible patients and support from our financial counselors.

Financial assistance calculator

Find out if you qualify for our financial assistance program.