Hospital compliance with CMS’ price transparency rule has been a mixed bag since January 1. Some have published chargemasters on their home pages while others have buried the lists deeper within the sites requiring users to hunt. And others? Well, according to an article in Modern Healthcare, “In the case of Sutter Health, the information appeared on the system’s website as a blob of incomprehensible script. A Sutter spokeswoman said the data was published in the .JSON format, which she called “a machine-readable format that complies with the rule.”
Regardless of the way the chargemaster is published, even when they find the list, consumers aren’t getting the help that CMS envisioned. Publishing prices according to the letter of the law will make a hospital compliant. But will it attract new business? Or will incomprehensible scripts chase people away to another hospital who is publishing meaningful prices that make sense and actually help consumers understand what their costs will be?
Publishing chargemaster prices, even if it’s on your website’s homepage, isn’t going to pull people toward you.
There is a better way and it’s an easy, quick one to implement. HealthQRS offers a solution where hospitals publish actual pricing that people can access from an app on their phones. This app can serve as a marketing tool for your hospital and help you beat out your competition. You’ll be compliant, you’ll win the game and, in the process, collect your money upfront.
In addition to consumer backlash from chargemaster lists, hospitals face major obstacles in 2019 as outlined in a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review by Scott Becker and Molly Gamble:
“Hospitals face many different headwinds. This goes into the concept of healthcare as a zero-sum game. There is only so much pie to be shared, and the hospital slice of pie is being attacked or threatened in various areas.” Becker and Gamble list nine headwinds facing hospitals, and we recommend reading the article in its entirety. HealthQRS can help you with at least these four headwinds mentioned in the article:
Bricks and Mortar
HealthQRS can help you cut costs on bricks and mortar by expanding your services to include telemedicine and make it easily accessible from an app.
Slowing Rises in Reimbursement– Federal and Commercial
HealthQRS can help you focus on getting paid for the services you are rendering to patients with high deductibles by implementing a system that allows you, at the time of scheduling, to collect full payment, or at the very least, set up payment plans with consumers.
Lower Commercial Mix
HealthQRS can help you grow your commercial mix by attracting employers. If you help employers lower their healthcare costs, you’ll gain market share. You can do this by offering employers an e-commerce site for their employees that allows them to shop, schedule and pay for services from an easy-to-use app. HealthQRS offers this service, and our solution helps keep employees in network.
The Loss of Ancillary Income
HealthQRS can help you build and market your own, local, centers-of-excellence by contracting with employers to gain the business of their employees.
Consumerism is here. Use it to stay in the game. Use it to market yourself to patients, to employers/employees, and promote your higher profit margin procedures to improve revenues and operating margins.
HealthQRS’ solution allows you to provide consumers with what they want: A true retail experience in healthcare. HealthQRS has developed the only complete e-commerce platform for healthcare on the market. We give consumers a site that allows them to use their smartphone, tablets or computers to shop, schedule and pay for services and medications and see actual pricing and options based on their health plans and networks. 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
Our solution will help you comply with CMS’ price transparency rule, but we are much more than a price transparency tool. Our platform has 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.
HealthQRS’ price transparency tool allows you to publish price as well a downloadable readable file that shows realistic pricing, not the charge master or incomprehensible scripts. In addition, we can provide out-of-pocket pricing. Our solution can also capture the user’s information, such as name, email address and phone number.
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.
We are a software-as-a-service (SaaS), so you have no capital investment, just a low monthly fee. HealthQRS can provide this to you for as low as $500 per month and we can have you compliant by January 1, and not only that, your facilities will be much more attractive to consumers than your competition who is publishing charge master prices.
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 help you publish compliant pricing. We can help you face the headwinds. Even more, we can help you give consumers what they want. And that will keep them coming back to you.
 Harris Meyer, “Hospitals vary in publishing CMS chargemaster prices,” Modern Healthcare, Jan. 7, 2019, https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20190107/TRANSFORMATION04/190109931?utm_source=modernhealthcare&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20190107-TRANSFORMATION04-190109931&utm_campaign=am
 Scott Becker and Molly Gamble, “Healthcare as a zero-sum game: 7 key points,” Becker’s Hospital Review, Dec. 19, 2018, https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/healthcare-as-a-zero-sum-game-7-key-points.html