Consumers today have it easier than ever before. In this digital age, information is as accessible as the air we breathe. There are apps that help us compare mortgage loans, the cost of a car, even groceries.
Consumers are savvy and are rightfully seeking pricing information from providers – before a service is performed. It’s only natural.
However, the healthcare industry has some obstacles to overcome to achieve this level of transparency, even with the mandates of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Let’s sum it up with a few quick facts from Public Agenda’s 2015 Report. Did you know:
- Most Americans are not aware that prices can fluctuate across healthcare providers. 57 percent of insured and 47 percent of uninsured Americans are not aware that physicians might charge different prices for the same services.*
- 67 percent of those with deductibles between $500 and $3,000, and 74 percent with deductibles higher than $3,000 have sought out price information before getting care.
Despite the obstacles, there is hope.
- 82 percent of those who have compared prices across multiple providers say they will do so again in the future.
The demand for medical cost transparency has led to many alternative payment models (like bundled payments), which are proving extremely beneficial. This “82 percent” stat tells us comparative data analytics work and are increasing transparency and collaboration of medical costs like never before.
These types of changes will ultimately help bottom lines across the industry – making it easier for the patient to make wise budget decisions. Over time, providers would see less payment defaults and payers could monitor and further reduce costs.
So, healthcare industry, what can we do to keep up?