RBMA Hot Topic: Price Transparency in Radiology


Our ears were burning this week as the Radiology Business Management Association’s website discussed their weekly “Hot Topic.” We all know that the “transparency” buzzword has been on the lips of every healthcare professional lately, but this week the organization took steps to identify the sentiment of those in the radiology sector.
The results of the survey were shocking.
RBMA asked, “How do you publish time-of-service pricing for self-pay patients?” Based on those surveyed, it was determined that:
12.77%             Use Save On Medical to show prices
2.13%             Show prices on their own website
21.28%             Only show prices to those who ask for it
68.09%             Don’t show prices at all

Survey Results of RBMA "Hot Topic" on Transparency
Survey Results of RBMA “Hot Topic” on Transparency

In the RBMA Practice Management Forum, many people threw in their two cents. Some of the takeaways from those conversations included:

  • Ensure that your self-pay discounts are contingent upon full payment before or at the time of service.
  • If a patient comes to you for a procedure that their insurance will not cover, they can be treated as a self-pay since they’re paying out of their own pocket.
  • Some said that their ballpark self-pay price is about a 30% discount off their standard charges. (This varies based on center and procedure, so this is ONLY an estimate.)
  • Everyone is feeling an escalation in consumer (patient) shopping, meaning more demand for transparency.
  • It’s been found that having discounted self-pay rates shown, that if you collect payment before or at time of service, your center can save money on costs based on billing and collection services.

What do you think about the current state of transparency in the healthcare market? Tell us what your practice is doing currently and how you see things shifting.