The Need for Price Transparency in the Healthcare System
Effective 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 These way patients are able to make informed decisions when seeking for services
Most insurance providers and healthcare facilities are striving hard to improve price transparency in services delivered Delivery of quality services is expected to be a success if there are measures put in place to improve price transparency Scarcity of information on pricing results in cost of care There has been a push for improvement on price transparency for many years Many people are left in the dark when they seek in-patient care as they don’t know how much they will get charged. Healthcare providers can make cost conscious decisions with price transparency and patients can also choose which healthcare facility best suits them.
The health care system cannot be functional if people cannot compare the
pricing with other services as they don’t know the exact value of the purchase 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 There are alternative payment methods that require providers to get information from doctors on what the cost of ordering certain tests
If providers don’t know the standard price of treatment, it can be difficult to come up with an accurate figure. The cost of treatment varies in thousands of dollars in healthcare facilities that are in the same neighborhood let alone different countries 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. It is not surprising to know that at times physicians don’t even know the price of services they provide
Plus, it can get complicated if the patients don’t even know the structure of their insurance cover The estimates tend to vary greatly if a patient goes for treatment and another underlying condition is discovered This means that there needs to be coordination between health planners and providers to get an estimate on the prices However there is some progress as major health plans have a cost estimator tool for insured patients to find a service that can provide a cost estimate