The Impact Of Healthcare Consumerism On Efficiency And Cost
Healthcare consumerism is the end result of the widespread adoption of high-deductible healthcare insurance plans by most employers. These plans place more of the responsibility of the cost of care onto patients, which, in turn, has increased price sensitivity for treatments and procedures. In fact, a 2017 survey revealed that consumers are only becoming more disciplined and value-conscious in healthcare spending and saving decisions. As this trend continues, patients will require more transparency regarding all facets of their care, so they are able to make the most informed decision possible.
Price transparency drives down the cost of healthcare.
Price transparency is one way in which healthcare consumerism is serving to make healthcare services more cost-effective. Traditionally, consumers have not been privy to the price of various treatments, only their premiums, copays, deductibles and coinsurance — essentially only what the insurance companies would reveal to them up front. But as they are forced to pay more out of pocket expenses, patients want to be more informed about the underlying price structure. The resulting price transparency caused by customer demand has meant that providers, for the first time in modern history, have had to become more competitive with what they charge, and more aware of what other providers are charging for the same services. The more transparent pricing becomes, the more costs are driven down by the reality that consumers can and will “shop” for care, or negotiate for better pricing when they can prove that the same treatments are being offered less expensively by comparable providers.
Price transparency helps providers keep their own costs lower.
Healthcare consumerism can also help make healthcare services more efficient and cost-effective in the long run. When pricing is established up front in a clear and concise manner, it means less overhead must be spent on administrative office staff who have to spend many hours dealing with patient billing and collections on the back end. When costs can be cut in areas like these, it encourages providers to pass some of these savings onto patients in the form of stable, more affordable pricing, as well as pay their existing staff competitively.
How Curae can help patients get the care they need, when they need it most.
With this burgeoning emphasis on the cost of healthcare, it will only become more important that providers address issues of cost with patients directly when care is first being sought. However, this is a sensitive subject for most consumers, who are still becoming accustomed to having to talk about treatment pricing. Aquina’s Curae solution, which can be integrated directly into the patient intake process, helps practitioners easily address patient financing and pricing in the same conversation. With a variety of financing options available, patients can begin to evaluate what may meet their needs from the start, with little to no risk. This means patients can get the care they need, even when cost at first seems as if it may be a major hurdle to overcome. To begin the process of adding Curae to your practice, visit Curae.com today.