Price transparency: Where is it headed?
The proliferation of medical options, the general consumerization of healthcare and higher out-of-pocket costs for patients put a greater demand on providers to be more transparent about prices and costs to patients.
However, only one-quarter of patients receive pre-treatment estimates from their providers, even though 63 percent said they were interested in knowing the full cost of the care they received, according to the credit giant TransUnion. Consumers overall rated receiving upfront price estimates nearly as important as receiving an accurate medical diagnosis.
“Most…countries have fee schedules and modest cost-sharing upon use of services, and often available prices, but not so in the United States,” Betsy Imholz, director of special projects for Consumers Union, told FierceHealthFinance during an exclusive interview. Given that most insurers negotiate provider charges separately, Imholz noted that the result is “price discrimination” where the same service is sold for different prices–often vastly different prices.
Read more: FierceHealthFinance