In order for true consumerism to be in effect, the seller of a product or service must ultimately have the interest of the consumer in mind. We’ve said it before and we will say it again: It should be just as easy to shop for health care procedures as it is to shop for your car, your travel or a pair of shoes. There’s no question when you are paying for those goods how much it’s going to cost you and you certainly don’t have to worry about surprise costs. So how do we bring true consumerism to health care?
Tackling consumerism in health care is more than just making prices transparent or providing physician quality scores, it’s about finding out what patients want and giving them access to what they expect.
> Here are some tips on how to help your consumer-driven patient population and build patient volume.
What consumer-driven patients expect:
- To know the full price of the services they are receiving
- To have access to prices without having to hunt them down or barter
- For health care professionals to collaborate with one another across the board Ex: Insurance companies, billing departments and physicians
- To have seamless and easy access to resources such as scheduling and shopping tools online and on-the-go
- For health care providers to already be ahead of the curve
It was reported by Modern Healthcare that in 2015, 31% of patients paying out-of-pocket for their medical expenses feel powerless, resigned, depressed or angry. This is not the way we want our patients to feel. We want them to feel empowered and happy, because they feel like they are getting a deal on something they need.
It’s not easy for health care providers to adhere to these expectations because it is such a shift from what has been the norm in the health care industry, but patients have the power so we will see the tides turn. From a patient’s perspective, health care should be a very advanced field. Doctors are performing life saving procedures and scientists are developing innovative technology and cures, but they can’t figure out how to make prices clear to patients? Nothing is every as easy as it seems, but this is definitely a confusing conundrum from their side of things.
As health care providers, we need to do a better job of meeting patient expectations otherwise they will not buy in to any of the tools we build for them. Save On Medical is making consumerism in health care a possibility by turning these expectations into a reality.