According to the Healthcare Financial Management Association, price transparency is defined as the readily available information on the price of healthcare services that, together with other information, help define the value of those services. There are many pros and cons of price transparency for your practice.
The Benefits of Price Transparency at Your Practice:
1) Patient Education
Patients have long been overwhelmed by unexpected medical expenses that they did not plan for prior to receiving services. This vail that covers the cost of services has been the culture of medical expenses for many years and has left patients frustrated and confused when it comes time to pay on their medical bills. Price transparency offers a solution to patients who wish to prepare for their future, plan for the cost of their care, and decide what their best option is. Price transparency helps them stay educated on the cost of services so that they can accomplish these goals and avoid unnecessary frustration.
2) Frees Up Staff Time
Front line and billing staff often have to spend a long time on the phone with payers to determine the out of pocket costs for the patient based on their coverage. With price transparency tools, providers can open up their staff’s time by giving them a quick alternative to estimate the cost of services for the patient. Your staff will no longer have to make these phone calls and can focus on more patient critical tasks.
3) Encourages Patient Payments
Research shows that an increase in education and understanding surrounding one’s care and costs leads to higher levels of patient involvement and an increase in patient payments. By implementing price transparency strategies, your patients are more inclined to make a patient payment. They have time to prepare and budget for the cost of services rather than face surprise and uncertainty when their bill shows up in the mail or on their patient portal.
4) Improves Patient Satisfaction
Increased price transparency helped improve patient satisfaction by eliminating confusion, shock, and uncertainty that often happens as a result of an unexpected medical bill. Patients feel a sense of empowerment and relief with increased transparency into the cost of their medical care and are more likely to have a positive experience than without this option.
How Can You Improve Price Transparency at Your Practice?
1) Integrated Billing Software
A fully integrated billing software solution from a trusted vendor is the quickest way to implement price transparency at your practice. Cost estimator tools can help your practice and staff deliver answers to patients in seconds.
2) Educate Your Staff
Another method to promote price transparency at your practice is to educate your staff as much as possible on how to respond to questions about cost. Educating your staff on how to react to those questions offers your patients a better experience.
3) Itemize Your Bills
A way to decrease the shock one feels when their medical bill comes in the mail is to itemize your bills from the start. Itemized bills help a patient understand how the cost of the services is broken down and gives them peace of mind when it comes time to make a payment.
To learn more about the tools that came help you increase price transparency at your practice, click here.