As high deductible health insurance plans increase in popularity, healthcare consumers are starting to expect their experiences with healthcare facilities to be similar to those in the retail industry.
In today’s world, discretionary choices related to food, clothing, and travel are driven by convenience. For instance, online shopping and mobile apps make life easier and are commonly used by many consumers.
This notion of convenience will only increase with future generations and significantly influence how people interact with the healthcare industry. The prevalence of telemedicine services, online reviews of medical professionals, and walk-in clinics has made this clear.
As more and more patients take on greater responsibility for their healthcare, there will be an increase in healthcare consumerism. Unfortunately, however, there will be several barriers that may hinder the effectiveness of healthcare consumerism.
Since it’s rare for patients to cover the entire cost of their healthcare because of insurance, it can be a challenge for providers and patients to estimate or even gain access to actual care costs. According to a 2016 survey by Navicure, approximately 63 percent of providers stated they had difficulties with offering healthcare price transparency for their patients.
In addition, 18 percent of those surveyed explained that they do not have a cost estimation tool that patients can use, 13 percent revealed they do not have the personnel to address price issue and 12 percent shared that they are lacking in convenient payment options such as online bill pay or automatic payments.
It’s essential for patients to be provided with the right tools to allow them to shop around for the care that is ideal for their budget and needs. Healthcare stakeholders should consider offering their patients financial incentives for opting for lower-cost, higher-quality healthcare. This way, they can improve healthcare consumerism’s effectiveness and the success of their practice.
By finding ways to increase price transparency in the healthcare industry, healthcare consumerism can become effective. Improved price transparency can also lower the costs of healthcare and reduce unnecessary utilization.
It’s clear that healthcare consumerism will continue and medical organizations should take the time to figure out how they can incorporate price transparency and encourage consumerism that benefits themselves as well as their patients.
Contact Applied Medical Systems
If you’d like further information about price transparency and what it means for the healthcare industry, we encourage you to contact us today. We’ll be happy to help you incorporate it into your practice.