The Need for Price Transparency in the Healthcare System
Effective programs and service delivery is possible through price transparency It is the only way to improve patients experience when they seek treatment in healthcare facilities. 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 Patients need to be well informed on the amount to pay and by what time This way patients can decide on what services to seek
It is important to note that majority of healthcare facilities and insurance providers are working hard to improve transparency in the services they deliver 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 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 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, thing seem to take a turn for the best as providers, insurers and drug makers are making progress in pricing transparency and delivery of quality 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.
It can be hard to know the actual cost without knowledge of 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 The cost of treatment may not have any relation with the amount offered by the insurance provider 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 It comes as no surprise that there are physicians who don’t know the standard cost of the services they provide
It is even worse when patients don’t have knowledge of how much their insurance cover is providing 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 Major healthcare plan use a cost estimator tool to give patients a cost estimate.