Cost Estimate

A hospital chargemaster is a comprehensive list of all the billable services and items provided by a hospital. The chargemaster captures the costs of each procedure, service, supply, prescription drug, and diagnostic test provided at the hospital, as well as any fees associated with services, such as equipment fees and room charges. Because hospitals operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a chargemaster can contain thousands of services and related charges.

Chargemaster amounts are almost never billed to a patient or received as payment by a hospital. The chargemaster amounts are billed to an insurance company, Medicare, or MassHealth. These payers then apply their reimbursement terms or contracted rates to the services that are billed. If a patient co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible is owed, these too are most often not based on chargemaster amounts but rather the payment terms determined by the insurer or government program. 
Costs vary among healthcare providers based on several factors including whether they are an academic medical center, a teaching hospital, a community service provider and other factors. 

Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children's Hospital provides specific cost estimates for patients. 

Contact the Financial Coordination office at 617-636-6013 or send a request via email to with your question.

Price Transparency >

Updated: January 2021

The item number is a reference number used to uniquely identify charges in the Tufts Medical Center chargemaster.

Generally, descriptions in the chargemaster are based on the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) short descriptions that are written by the American Medical Association, the entity that owns CPT.

For a subset of services, Tufts Medical Center does not have a standard charge and these services are instead charged dynamically at the time of service based on current cost for pharmaceuticals and supplies, or the duration of the service for operating room procedure time.

The Average Charges by DRG data is only reflective of DRGs billed by Tufts Medical Center in the previous fiscal year.

In situations where a patient does not have insurance, patients may be eligible for free or reduced cost of health care services through various state public assistance programs as well as the hospital financial assistance programs (including but not limited to MassHealth, the premium assistance payment program operated by the Massachusetts Health Connector, the Children’s Medical Security Program, the Health Safety Net, and Medical Hardship). Such programs are intended to assist low-income patients taking into account each individual’s ability to contribute to the cost of his or her care.

For those individuals that are uninsured or underinsured, the hospital will, when requested, help them with applying for either coverage through public assistance programs or hospital financial assistance programs that may cover all or some of their unpaid hospital bills. You can find more information on our financial assistance policies by clicking here or by calling and speaking or speak to a financial counselor at 617-636-6013.

The hospital’s chargemaster may not include charges for services provided by the doctors who treat you while you are at the hospital. You may receive separate bills from the hospital and the doctors involved in your care.

The following provides a list of providers who may send a separate bill for any services provided in the hospital:
  • Your personal doctor, if he/she sees you in the hospital;
  • The surgeon who performs your procedure;
  • The anesthesiologist who works with the surgeon;
  • The radiologist who reads your x-rays or other imaging; and/or
  • Other doctors who may be consulted by your doctor during your time in the hospital or for emergency room services.

The list of charges is the same for all patients. However, the total charges for an individual patient often vary from one patient to another for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • How long it takes to perform the service or how long it takes you to recover in the hospital;
  • Whether the service or procedure you receive is more or less difficult than expected;
  • What kinds of medication you require;
  • Whether you experience complications and need additional treatment; and/or
  • Other health conditions you may have that may affect your care.
As mentioned above, chargemaster amounts are almost never billed to a patient or received as payment by a hospital.

If you would like more information about what your care might cost you or the hospital’s financial assistance policy, please contact Tufts Medical Center Financial Coordination office at 617-636-6013 or send a request via email to

A Financial Coordinator will respond to you within two business days.

Please note that estimates provided are based on the information known at the time of the request. All final charges are dependent on the decisions that were made by your healthcare team during your visit. 

Your health plan can also help you to understand your insurance coverage, which charges will be covered, how much you will be billed, information on deductibles and your expected out-of-pocket responsibility.