How to Improve Price Transparency in the Healthcare System
Price transparency is important in making effective programs and in service delivery Being transparent about prices improves the experience of patients in the healthcare system Majority of patients will be more than willing to pay as long as they get informed earlier on the amount expexted This helps in reduction of the amount of care that remains uncompensated Each healthcare facility needs to inform patients on what the amount owed and the duration needed to make payment. These way patients are able to make informed decisions when seeking for services
It is important to note that majority of healthcare facilities and insurance providers are working hard to improve transparency in the services they deliver Transparency increases the rate of success in providing quality services Scarcity of information on pricing results in cost of care There has been a push for improvement on price transparency for many years Consumers are usually left in the dark about what they are expected to pay after going for in-patient services Price transparency gives patients an opportunity to compare healthcare systems and choose the best and enable healthcare providers to make cost conscious decisions
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 There are changes that can be seen especially with the pressure mounted on providers, insurers and drug makers to provide pricing and better drugs There is rising demand for patients to shop for healthcare services as healthcare spending is higher than the cost of inflation. Many insurers opt to ask for costs from doctors before doing any tests.
It is tough for a provider to come up with accurate cost of a service before knowing 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. When price transparency is not available many patients find themselves in a situation where they have insufficient fund to clear hospital bills.
Price transparency will give patients an opportunity to choose healthcare facilities that they can afford 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 charges can change drastically if a patient goes for treatment and another complication arises in the process Proper coordination between health planners and providers is necessary in getting estimate of the price. 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