The Need for 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 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. This way patients can decide on what services to seek
Most insurance providers and healthcare facilities are striving hard to improve price transparency in services delivered When there is price transparency, there will delivery of quality services. 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 Healthcare providers can make cost conscious decisions with price transparency and patients can also choose which healthcare facility best suits them.
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 There is rising demand for patients to shop for healthcare services as healthcare spending is higher than the cost of inflation. 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 Prices are known to vary up to thousands of dollars in hospitals that are in the same neighborhood The cost of treatment may not have any relation with the amount offered by the insurance provider 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 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. 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