Healthcare Insight: Addressing Concern About Price Transparency Rule

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On January 1st, CMS’ final rule on healthcare price transparency goes into effect, requiring hospitals to post standard charges for any given service online and in a machine-readable format. Despite this being something the public has been asking for, there is concern amount the industry. In fact, according to a recent survey of 150 healthcare providers, 92 percent revealed that they’re worried about how the public will perceive their charges.

Tips for Price Transparency

Uncertainty about public perception is just part of the concern around the final rule, as 43 percent of healthcare providers admitted not yet knowing how they’ll address its requirements when they were asked in November. Despite concerns, price transparency is likely here to stay, and can actually work to your advantage as a healthcare provider. In order to make it work for you, experts recommend:

  • Using a patient-friendly estimator tool instead of a chargemaster, which is more difficult to understand, doesn’t mention the potential for extra charges and is not always up-to-date.

  • Posting a disclaimer with standard charges to make patients aware that they’re viewing a list price that might not reflect their out-of-pocket expenses.

Being transparent about pricing upfront allows providers to control their public image. Even if the price is high, making costs easier to understand could prevent patients from switching to a different provider who may be more forthcoming with their pricing.

HealthcareAmanda S