Price Transparency’s Impact on Healthcare Shopping


Imagine if we shopped for our groceries the same way we shopped for healthcare procedures. We walk down an aisle at the grocery store and it’s filled with nondescript brown boxes. They’re all the same size, labeled with the things that we need like apples, bananas and lettuce; but we have no way of determining the prices or the qualities of our options.
So we fill up our grocery cart and head to the checkout counter. The cashier rings us up and we ask how much it will all cost. She responds that it will be $300 today and you’ll get a bill in the mail for the rest of the amount. You wonder out loud how much more it will cost and when the bills will stop coming but you don’t get a straight answer.
That is how we shop for healthcare.

With the average family spending $4800 out-of-pocket on their healthcare more patients are searching for affordable options. Can you imagine their surprise then when they find out that the prices for a procedure like an MRI can range anywhere from $400 to $4,000?
Now imagine that you are a healthcare provider.  You’re trying to bring in more patients, in a time where reimbursement cuts have really impacted your practice’s business. You want to serve the consumer-driven patient population but the road to transparency can be challenging.  When providers try to collect from self-pay patients, 70% usually goes uncollected and it cost twice as much to collect from them as it does from an insurance provider.

Save On Medical saves them the trouble of tracking down patient payments though, because on our website, patients pay online before they even have their procedure.  With the transparency market reported to grow 55% by 2016, providers are starting to jump on board.

This dynamic has been previously unseen in the healthcare industry. There are other companies focused on improving price transparency, some focusing on online booking and scheduling and some dedicated to providing quality scores of providers. Find the tool that works best for you!