5 Ways Price Transparency Can Improve Your Practice and the Patient Experience
May 25, 2022
Modern consumers know how to shop. Gone are the days when bedraggled bargain-hunters trudged from store to store, looking for the best deal. Now, a quick online search can yield top products sorted by quality, availability and price. The same should be true for healthcare costs. All too often, patients come out of an exam or procedure to find their trials aren’t over. The next hurdle? The bill.
Although recent legislation is working to improve price transparency in the U.S. it’s still a lingering challenge for patients who are often unaware of the cost before receiving care. Add that to the fact that more than 75% of patients claim to be dissatisfied with the cost of healthcare. While providers can’t control costs, you can get ahead of these challenges and provide real value to patients by providing pre-care price transparency. By shedding some light on care costs, you can improve the patient experience and your bottom line.
Increased patient satisfaction
Negative patient experiences can translate to reduced patient satisfaction scores in Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys, which ultimately impacts reimbursement. Bad experiences can also lead to patients not understanding or even avoiding paying their bills. A huge part of the patient experience is understanding and managing costs. When customers know what they’re getting — and for how much — they leave feeling satisfied that the hospital is prioritizing both their health and wallet.
Improved health literacy
Providing patients with a more complete picture of the cost of care not only helps them understand what they’ll be paying, it can also help improve overall health literacy. Help clients better understand these pricing elements by taking the time to explain not only the cost but the procedures attached to them. This can help you avoid any confusion later on and help your patients or clients make the most informed decision for their health.
More customized patient experiences
When you break down expenses for patients, you also provide a closer look at individual elements of that treatment. The more pricing information and elements you reveal, the more customized the process can become for the client. This new window into procedures and options can both help patients prepare for payment and make them a more active and informed participant in their treatment.
Higher rate of collection
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a customer is willing to pay more (or in this case, pay) for a product or experience meeting their expectations. And with recent changes in healthcare, including higher deductibles and copays, patient payment represents an increasing percentage of a healthcare practice’s total revenue. By discussing cost of care with patients, providers can improve patient experience and increase the rate of payment collection.
With Ally Lending you can proactively pre-qualify patients for financing to provide a seamless presentation of financing options alongside costs. Ally Lending’s flexible healthcare financing seeks to make the application process as easy and secure as possible for both patients and providers.
Positive word of mouth
In a consumer-driven world, the online rating rules. Almost all consumers research medical care professionals online, and 75% of patients under the age of 60 consider a positive online reputation an extremely important part of selecting a provider (and that number only drops to 70% for those over 60). The billing experience is a substantial component of the patient experience. By discussing costs at the beginning of the care cycle, hospitals and clinics can set patients at ease, or at least prepare them for what’s coming – in turn, improving their experience and (fingers crossed) boosting online reviews.
Treat with transparency
So, what does this mean for healthcare providers? In this shifting landscape, potential patients want a clear indication of the cost upfront. By approaching the topic with candor, care providers can avoid patient alienation while building trust and satisfaction.
Ally Lending considers the full patient experience to ensure patients understand their payment obligations and options. Cost transparency is a priority, and we integrate that promise into every step of our program, from thoughtful provider training and simplified educational tools for applicants to our no credit impact prequalification application.
It’s no secret that the healthcare landscape is changing. In this increasingly consumer-driven market, providers are not only expected to deliver top-notch care, but also to take on the added responsibility of behaving like a brand.