Why Hospitals Should Push for Greater Price Transparency
April is Financial Literacy Month, and amid the ever-changing revenue cycle process, it’s a timely reminder that can also be applied to understanding conversations and strategies surrounding healthcare price transparency for patients and providers.
Although hospitals are now required to publish a list of their standard charges online as of January 1, 2019 per revised CMS requirements, that shouldn’t be their only step to increase healthcare price transparency.
In a recent white paper from Accenture titled “Show Me the Money,” researchers found that offering pricing information and providing patients financial education upfront could be a critical market differentiator for hospitals. Specifically, the Accenture report revealed that 60 percent of consumers said they proceeded with the provider of their choice within 12 months of learning their estimated out-of-pocket costs. Similarly, 46 percent said knowing their out-of-pocket price estimate is important in planning for medical expenses, and nearly 40 percent said they would pay medical bills in advance if they knew their costs upfront.
Aside from the provider’s financial incentive and mandate to prioritize a consumer-first strategy, there are also many other notable advantages of pusher for greater price transparency, including the following:
Advantages to Greater Price Transparency:
- Builds more visibility and accountability across your revenue cycle management: Increased levels of transparency allows the hospital to see everything that is happening with every account, claim, and reimbursement. As such, providers and patients will hold the other accountable for a more seamless, error-free experience.
- Strengthens engagement between patients and providers: Patient-centered billing practices plus value-driven care creates a holistic healthcare experience that can keep patients (and physicians) happy and committed at every stage of the continuum.
- Prevents delays in patient care: As out-of-pocket spending continues to rise, the dynamics of how hospitals interact with patients will be placed under increased scrutiny. Hospital executives will begin to elevate their focus on patient-facing positions, considering how best to train, attract, and retain talent to help patients manage needs and concerns. This is especially pertinent as prior authorizations are increasing, with 86 percent of providers noting a growth in prior authorization required in 2017 alone.
- Drives patient loyalty: Ultimately, if a patient has a good experience and feels that they have been fairly treated and educated on pricing, that sense of trust will ignite a sense of loyalty to that healthcare provider.
As patient populations become more empowered and financially informed, hospitals and healthcare facilities who adopt more consumer-first policies can also see more consistent payments, increased revenues and an overall healthier community as a result. For Financial Literacy Month and beyond, consider how your facility could boost or re-energize its focus in pushing for greater price transparency and education.
Provide better pricing transparency for your patients. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.383.6278 to speak with one of our specialists to learn how MEDHOST can implement technology-driven solutions to prioritize the patient experience at your hospital.