Delivering – Not Just Promising – Price Transparency

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Republican lawmakers are crafting a new deal to replace Obamacare. Still, regular folks in the trenches face rising medical expenses. And providers and hospitals face declining revenues and growing bad debt. People are left wondering exactly how much their healthcare services and procedures are going to cost them. Buzzwords like patient engagement and price transparency continue to swirl around as tantalizing answers, yet who is actually capitalizing on their transformative promises?

Regardless of healthcare legislation, an open marketplace will allow people easier access to better care. And right now there is no marketplace. There are just captive patients who need healthcare and who have no idea what it’s going to cost.

Article after article in news publications as well as healthcare pubs and journals discuss price transparency pros and cons. A recent study by Sedrak, et al, raises the question of whether price transparency actually decreases wasteful healthcare spending.[1] However, Anna D. Sinaiko, PhD, and Alyna T. Chien, MD, MS, in their article, “Achieving the Promise of Price Transparency,” just published in the Journal of American Medical Association, disagree with this conclusion. Bold type is ours. They state:

“Yet we believe this is not the case. A recent national survey finds that the majority of Americans would like to know the price of medical services in advance of receiving care and are willing to look for better-value care. Studies of physicians consistently find that physicians are not only interested in helping patients reduce their out-of-pocket spending burdens, but they feel morally obligated to do so. The disconnect between descriptive studies and recent trials suggests that existing price transparency initiatives have not satisfied patient and physician interest in price information and that efforts to improve price transparency interventions likely need to be redoubled.[2]

The study that Sinaiko and Chien reference is found in the article, “How Much Will It Cost?” written by Schleifer, Hagelskamp and Rinehart and published in Health Care Organization Financing.[3]

So When Are We Going To Provide True Transparency?

It’s one thing to provide transparency in the form of estimates, and companies exist who do. But people are tired of estimates, especially the ones that give ranges, such as an MRI might cost between $500 and $2,000. We can do better than that and it’s time.

A True Pricing Transparency Solution Exists Today

A solution exists for payers and providers to provide actual, true pricing for services and procedures. HealthQRS has developed innovative, cutting edge technology that combines metrics from provider contract rates with payers, insurance verification, patient financial responsibility, payer claims adjudication logic, and in a millisecond, calculates the patient’s exact out-of-pocket expense. No one else is doing this.

Easy Access to True Prices

Exact costs can be easily accessed two different ways:

  1. From the point-of-service at the provider’s or hospital’s facility by your team members
  2. Online, direct to the consumer via the provider’s or payer’s websites

HealthQRS’ solution is extremely customizable and can be adapted to any business rules you choose. You decide which procedures rise to the top, such as the least expensive. You can even provide discounts based on “slow times” of the week for your facility. Let’s say Fridays are typically light for MRIs. You’re able to offer a discount if the user chooses to have the MRI done that day

People can select the procedure they want right from the computer screen, or their smartphone or laptop. They can book the procedure, then see how much they have in their FSA or HSA, choose how much to pay upfront, and then create a payment plan.

You receive money upfront and less no shows because they have already paid. And you also have a loyal consumer who will spread the word to friends and family about your great shopping experience.

You can deliver on the promise of price transparency before your competition. HealthQRS’ founders have over 12 years of experience creating retail experiences in healthcare. We can have your system up and running in about six weeks. Our solution is a software as a service (SAS), so you only pay a monthly subscription, no upfront capital expenses.

We invite you to learn more about HealthQRS’ solutions and how they can help you provide true price information to your patients and to collect your money upfront. Click here to schedule a demo, or feel free to contact us with any questions.

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[1] Sedrak  MS, Myers  JS, Small  DS,  et al.  “Effect of a price transparency intervention in the electronic health record on clinician ordering of inpatient laboratory tests: the PRICE randomized clinical trial,” [published online April 21, 2017].  JAMA Intern Med. 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1144

[2] Anna D. Sinaiko, PhD, Alyna T. Chien, MD, MS, “Achieving the Promise of Price Transparency,” Journal of American Medical Association, (JAMA), Apr. 21, 2017, http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2619518

[3] Schleifer  D, Hagelskamp  C, Rinehart  C., “How much will it cost?,” http://hcfo.org/publications/how-much-will-it-cost-how-americans-use-prices-health-care.html. Accessed April 3, 2017.

 

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