Knowing what they’ll pay boosts patients’ confidence and satisfaction
Concern about the cost of healthcare has been a significant deterrent for patients, many of whom avoid engaging with the healthcare system because of finances. According to an Accenture study, 91% of patients say it is important to know their out-of-pocket costs upfront, and 47% of patients would consider switching providers if it meant better understanding their costs at the time of scheduling an appointment or procedure.
Not knowing whether a given service is affordable keeps many Americans from seeking the care they need, including care from Ambulatory Surgery Centers and other specialty providers
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 9915-F Ruling, “Transparency in Coverage,” helps address the cost problem by informing patients, through online tools and postings, what hospitals and other facilities charge for the items and services they provide.
Recently, CMS issued the first fine of $1 million to two Georgia hospitals for non-compliance.
However, despite enforcement and education efforts to date, patient adoption of these tools has been slow. Why? Because price transparency information can be challenging to find and is often not user-friendly.
Another obstacle slowing patient adoption of price transparency tools is education. A growing emphasis on protecting and promoting consumers’ interests in healthcare has yielded benefits, as seen in the growth of telehealth appointments and the number of patients who now use online tools to self-schedule their appointments.
But understanding that patients can also conduct price comparisons when they shop for procedures requires additional education. And who is poised to take the reins and solve this puzzle? The competition.
In recent years, the focus at Ambulatory Surgery Centers has shifted to providing higher value, both by increasing practice revenues and patient satisfaction.
A recent Johns Hopkins study found there was higher patient satisfaction and engagement after the implementation of price transparency. The study found that patient volume increased by 50% after implementing price transparency and revenue rose by 30%.
This current ecosystem creates a uniquely competitive environment. ASCs can utilize publicly available hospital pricing coupled with consumer-friendly price transparency tools to showcase cost savings to patients.
In this scenario, since providers benefit from increased volumes, patient education regarding price shopping will naturally follow.
healow Price Transparency helps ASCs gain a competitive edge. The automated and intuitive Patient Engagement strategy reduces burdens on staff while engaging patients. And the benefits of clear pricing policies can also be realized by many other specialties, including those whose primary focus is gastroenterology, cardiology, orthopedics, respiratory medicine, or other areas.
Highlights of the healow Price Transparency tool include:
- Embed the healow online tool directly on your customer website.
- Search, sort, and filter CPT codes in plain language.
- Enjoy an automated, monthly refresh of data.
- Provide instantly downloadable cost estimates.
- Empower patients to request appointments online and let your staff review and approve such requests.
To learn more, contact Kimberly Shogren, healow Solutions Executive, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, (972) 746-1457.