How to Improve Price Transparency in the Healthcare System
Effective service delivery is possible through price transparency Being transparent about prices improves the experience of patients in the healthcare system When patients know wh at amount to pay upfront, they will be more than willing to pay. This will lead to reduction of the amount that remains uncompensated Patients need to be well informed on the amount to pay and by what time These way patients are able to make informed decisions when seeking for services
There is a lot of effort from insurance companies and healthcare providers to improve price transparency. Transparency increases the rate of success in providing quality services High cost of care is usually blamed on the scarcity of information regarding price This is why there is a push for price transparency that has been going on for many years 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
The healthcare system is considered to be dysfunctional when patients cannot compare prices with other service providers However, things are changing with the pressure being put on insurers, drug makers and healthcare providers to offer a price and deliver quality drugs Healthcare spending is growing above the rate of inflation and patients are burdened with the rising demand 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
It is tough for a provider to come up with accurate cost of a service before knowing the standard price 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 why price transparency is important to avoid running into unwanted cost that could be easily avoided
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.
In addition, it gets complicated when the patients don’t even know the amount covered by the insurance companies. The estimates tend to vary greatly if a patient goes for treatment and another underlying condition is discovered Proper coordination between health planners and providers is necessary in getting estimate of the price. A lot of progress is expected to be made as many healthcare provider use a cost estimator tool to give insured patients a cost estimate