When providers say 2019 is the year of the consumer does it mean they will follow Alex Azar’s call to make prices more understandable?

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Providers say addressing healthcare consumerism is a top priority in 2019. Good idea since 77 percent of consumers want more price transparency, according to a PWC report as quoted in RevCycleIntelligence.[1]

Where there used to be smoke, there’s now a fire raging: Consumerism. Ignoring this has already put many hospitals in peril with bankruptcies, closures and mergers. If they refuse to go beyond the charge master, providers are going to lose with the increasing pressure to publish prices. Because price transparency has just left the gate and the race is only going to become more intense. So has competition. Providers must begin to face the fact that they cannot rely on existing business. It’s a good time to start marketing themselves to employers and their employees and individual consumers.

For one thing, competition is going to become easier for private health businesses who focus on high dollar procedures. In Georgia, House Bill 198 has just been filed that will “lift restrictions on private competition for hospitals’ best customers,” according to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.[2]  HB 198 will limit the restrictions that Certificate of Need, or CON, put on private health businesses to enter the field. CON helps secure hospitals’ current, and overall, business. If CON is limited, this will have huge ramifications for hospitals because it will pave the way for new providers to go after business that hospitals thought was safe.

Taking existing patients for granted will no longer work. With pressure from legislators and consumers growing exponentially, the way to win is to give consumers what they want. And that is answering the ever-present question: “How much is this going to cost me?”

Start by giving people a way to shop for services and procedures based on price and quality. Embrace price transparency for your consumers by giving them the Amazon experience. This includes matching price with quality of service.

Providers who give people an easy way to see actual out-of-pocket costs are going to win. We aren’t talking about publishing chargemasters. And we aren’t talking about using historical data to provide estimates. We are talking about giving people a simple, useful tool that gives them the ability to type in a procedure, see a list of available providers within your hospital, see locations and appointment times for that procedure, along with actual out-of-pocket unique to that specific consumer. A tool with the ability to let them select the highest quality procedures within their budgets, schedule those procedures and pay for it all from an app on their smartphones.

We are talking about giving your patients the “Amazon” experience. Sound impossible? Welcome to HealthQRS: the only solution on the market that offers a complete online retail experience for consumers that is accessible from smartphones, tablets and PCs. Our platform is ready for you to implement today, and we can integrate that solution into your existing EHR and revenue cycle management systems within a few weeks.

Alex Azar, HHS Secretary, recently spoke at the National Health Policy Conference in Washington. He noted that while the CMS price transparency rule is a good first step, he called for hospitals to go further in helping consumer understand the chargemaster lists. Amid complaints from hospitals that publishing chargemasters won’t help consumers understand their costs, Azar said, according to an article in Modern Healthcare, “To the extent that hospital list prices aren’t useful information to the patients they serve, well hospitals are the ones in the best position to do something about that.”[3]

You hold the key to either go big or go home. If the chargemaster is confusing, then publish prices that are meaningful. That effort alone will go a long way to helping you compete with private health businesses.

It’s not that hard or expensive. HealthQRS has a solution that easily can do both for as little as $500 per month. We are a software-as-a-service (SaaS), so you have no capital investment, just a low monthly fee.

Publishing prices using HealthQRS’ software shows consumers their ACTUAL out-of-pocket costs. HealthQRS has created a tool that provides actual pricing to people. And we’ve made that tool accessible in a platform that offers not just pricing, but a complete retail experience in healthcare, much like the Amazon experience. We’ve developed this solution using complicated algorithms that use real-time data: the actual payer contracts by provider + insurance verification information + charity + other business rules to provide consumers with a true out-of-pocket per patient per procedure.

Our solution is not a portal. We are talking about giving your consumers a complete, online retail experience that has the look and feel of shopping on Amazon. Give people a way to search for providers and services within your network, access quality scores, see the actual out-of-pocket expense, select a provider and service, schedule appointments, pay in full or at least set up payment plans and even arrange transportation. All from an app on their smartphones.

HealthQRS has developed the only complete e-commerce platform for healthcare on the market. You can publish price as well as a downloadable readable file that shows realistic pricing. Consumers can see their actual out-of-pocket expenses right on the app. This follows the intent of CMS’ price transparency rule by providing people with an easy, quick way to find services and procedures and immediately see what they will cost.

Our solution is simple to use. We invite you to see for yourself with this 2-minute video of the HealthQRS price transparency tool. Click on this link, then you’ll be instructed to download and watch: https://s3.amazonaws.com/hqrs.media/_misc/Screen+Recording+2018-11-29+at+17.30.45.mov

HealthQRS interfaces with virtually any existing practice management system and electronic medical record. Our solution helps you comply with CMS’ price transparency rule, but we are much more than a price transparency tool. We have over 30 modules that work independently or all together depending upon your needs to provide a holistic, seamless, total experience for the consumer from start to finish. We combine navigation, the capability to make an appointment, referral management (if needed), payment management and so much more than we can list here.

We enable telehealth connectivity as well. Our technology enables people to connect to more cost-effective, consumer-oriented healthcare options and we keep them in-network. HealthQRS integrates fully to your EHR and can also enhance your existing portals and other patient engagement solutions and improve your meaningful use numbers and increase meaningful use funds. Consumers can access your retail site and shop, schedule and pay for your services via an easy-to-use app on their smartphones or tablets.

Developing a solution of this magnitude didn’t happen overnight. We started with the consumer experience in mind and spent years drawing on the knowledge of best-of-breed experts to perfect, fine tune and put together this complicated, yet complete solution for medical e-commerce.

In fact, HealthQRS has over 15 years of experience developing healthcare retail experiences for people and our founders have over 50 combined years of e-commerce experience. We also invite you to watch our user-friendly app video that you can use to win consumers as well as our point-of-service solution video that may interest you. You can also check out our E-Commerce Medical Marketplace Flyer for more information.

Contact us right now to schedule a personalized demo. We can get you entire system set up in a matter of weeks We can help you compete with private health businesses to win this game.. Looking forward to helping you soon

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[1] Jacqueline LaPointe, “Addressing Healthcare Consumerism a Top Priority for Docs in 2019,” RevCycleIntelligence, Jan. 14, 2019, https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/addressing-healthcare-consumerism-a-top-priority-for-docs-in-2019?utmsource=GaggleAMP-%7BLinkedIn&utm_medium=LinkedIn%20(GaggleAMP)&utm_campaign=TransUnion%20-%20Healthcare%20(GaggleAMP)&utm_content=according-to-industry-experts-2019-will-be-the-year-of-healthca-1786077&utm_source=GaggleAMP-%7BLinkedIn

[2] Ariel Hart, “Georgia bill would allow competition for hospitals’ best customers,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Feb 8, 2019, https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-bill-would-allow-competition-for-hospitals-best-customers/9dJAQQ6sCTNIQOv1rH5isJ/

[3] Robert King, “Azar calls on hospitals to make list price information more useful,” Modern Healthcare, Feb. 4, 2019, https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20190204/news/190209985

 

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