What’s the difference between price transcarency and price transparency? Simple. Price transparency is the idea that consumers should understand the costs of a good or service prior to purchasing it. Pretty obvious in most industries…except healthcare. Price transcarency, in its most general terms, is the movement to bring price transparency to healthcare.
In the past, the healthcare community, despite previous efforts, has not embraced price transparency. The reasons are multifold but the least scandalous reason is due to the difficult-to-explain interactions of the healthcare triumvirate of insurance payors, healthcare providers/facilities and patients. And the most scandalous reason is that if price is hidden, competition is reduced and the healthcare industrial complex can make more money.
To fix this broken system, we need price transparency. This will impose market forces on healthcare, introducing greater competition, which will lead to more affordable healthcare, especially for commoditized services (i.e. X-rays, lab tests, outpatient services).
But how do you implement price transparency? A menu of pricing on a website won’t do it. For everyone to “buy in,”, we need to ensure that everyone benefits. Of course, the benefit to the patient is knowing their financial obligations ahead of time so they can plan accordingly, or find an alternative. But how to get provider buy-in?
Price Transcarency = Price Transparency + Lead Generation
By combining price transparency with lead generation, the provider now captures the consumer’s contact info when they check pricing online. This allows the provider to follow up and act as a navigator for the patient. By generating a lead in the process of the patient checking pricing, the provider now has buy in. May seem too simple, but sometimes the best solutions are the simplest or most obvious.
Price trancarency already exists in the form of a Price Estimator that works for both medically necessary services as well as cosmetic services. Whether it’s a procedure paid out of pocket because insurance doesn’t cover it (cosmetic) or because it’s medically necessary and the deductible hasn’t been met, most Americans are paying out of pocket for a portion of their healthcare. The idea of Price Transcarency benefits everyone. Join the revolution!