The Importance of Price Transparency in Healthcare
Effective programs and service delivery is possible through price transparency It is the only way to improve patients experience when they seek treatment in healthcare facilities. Patients are willing to pay if they know how much is needed upfront This helps in reduction of the amount of care that remains uncompensated The goal of every healthcare facility should be to inform patients how much they owe and when the amount is due for collection This way patients can decide on what services to seek
It is important to note that majority of healthcare facilities and insurance providers are working hard to improve transparency in the services they deliver Delivery of quality services is expected to be a success if there are measures put in place to improve price transparency High cost of care is usually blamed on the scarcity of information regarding price The push for price transparency has been going on for many years now. Consumers are usually left in the dark about what they are expected to pay after going for in-patient services Transparency will enable consumers to know which healthcare system to choose and give physicians an opportunity to make cost conscious decisions
If patients don’t know the exact vavue of services they cannot compare the pricing with other facilities, this makes the healthcare system dysfunctional. However, things are changing with the pressure being put on insurers, drug makers and healthcare providers to offer a price and deliver quality drugs The cost of healthcare is higher than the rate of inflation rising the need for patients to shop for healthcare services Many insurers opt to ask for costs from doctors before doing any tests.
It can be hard to know the actual cost without knowledge of the standard price Prices differ in thousands of dollars in hospitals that are in the same locality. It is not uncommon for hospital to charge more than what is provided by insurance companies. This is how many people find themselves with insufficient funds yet they thought the amount will get covered by the insurance company
If consumers know the accurate amount to pay, they can easily choose which healthcare facility to go for treatment. There are times that physicians don’t even know the cost of services they provide.
It is even worse when patients don’t have knowledge of how much their insurance cover is providing If a patient goes for treatment and it leads to discovery of another condition, the estimates may differ greatly. It means there is a lot of coordination needed between providers and the health plan to get an estimate of prices Major healthcare plan use a cost estimator tool to give patients a cost estimate.