The Importance of Price Transparency in Healthcare
Effective service delivery is possible through price transparency 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 will lead to reduction of the amount 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 This will help patients make an informed decision when choosing healthcare providers.
There is a lot of effort from insurance companies and healthcare providers to improve price transparency. 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 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 There are changes that can be seen especially with the pressure mounted on providers, insurers and drug makers to provide pricing and better drugs Healthcare spending is growing above the rate of inflation and patients are burdened with the rising demand to shop for healthcare services Many insurers opt to ask for costs from doctors before doing any 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 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
Price transparency in the healthcare system will enable patients to identify which hospitals they can access based on what they can afford It comes as no surprise that there are physicians who don’t know the standard cost of the services they provide
In addition, it gets complicated when the patients don’t even know the amount covered by the insurance companies. If a patient goes for treatment and it leads to discovery of another condition, the estimates may differ greatly. This means that there needs to be coordination between health planners and providers to get an estimate on the prices 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