Get Ready for Price Transparency

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , November 30, 2012

"Everyone's initial focus was on quality, because we were learning more and more about how quality varies so much," she says. "When I was at Leapfrog, that was a big focus, but I don't think there was that much awareness of the different prices we paid to providers for the same service."

If Delbanco has anything to do with it, that will soon change.

As consumers are being asked to foot more of the bill for their own healthcare, calls for this type of price transparency will only get louder until they reach the point of deafening.

"The writing is on the wall," she says. "When you imagine a future healthcare system, it's virtually impossible to envision one without price transparency. We're putting more on consumers to share in the cost, and they cannot make good decisions if they don't have this information."

She makes an excellent point. The price murkiness that has long overshadowed the business of healthcare is part of the reason that healthcare consumes ever more of our annual GDP. It's part of why wages have stagnated. It's a big reason why waste and harm in healthcare has historically been a backseat concern. It's why the notion of value for healthcare services has been impossible to measure for ages.

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2 comments on "Get Ready for Price Transparency"

Sara McFarland (12/3/2012 at 10:57 AM)
We agree wholeheartedly that transparency is necessary and it is not on the horizon anymore, it is already here. Patients need to know where they can go for transparency and get accurate pricing and quality grades, personalized to their needs. This is why we created our site, to remove the guess work and time wasted calling around to practices on the search for pricing. Additionally, even if a patient does get a quote over the phone, who is to say that is the price they will end up paying? We've removed that shadow of doubt with online payments and scheduling all online like It's the future of health care and the bright side? Providers ARE buying into this. When they see the writing on the wall, they will fall in line because they will see that it is beneficial to them as well to be futuristic when it comes to their practice.

Dan Prince (11/30/2012 at 4:09 PM)
If we ever truly want "consumer-driven" healthcare, having transparent quality AND pricing information is imperative!




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