The Benefits of Healthcare Price Transparency

Sep 1, 2020

Written by Hans Zandhuis

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. Transparency in healthcare isn't typical with nearly 48 percent of patients unaware of price before receiving care. Read on to learn how pre-care price transparency can improve your patient experience and bottom line.

Increased Patient Satisfaction

Negative patient experiences can translate to reduced patient satisfaction scores in HCAHPS surveys, which ultimately impact 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.

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 meets their expectations. And with recent changes in healthcare, including higher deductibles and copays, patient payment represents an increasing percentage of a hospital’s total revenue. By discussing cost of care with patients, providers can improve patient experience and increase the rate of payment collection.

Positive Word of Mouth

In a consumer-driven world, the online rating rules. More than 74 percent of consumers research medical care professionals online, and nearly 70 percent said a positive online reputation is very or extremely important in selecting a provider. 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.

So, what does this mean for healthcare providers? In this shifting landscape, potential patients want a clear indication of 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 and ongoing loan holder servicing strategy.

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