In recent years there has been a buzz around price transparency in healthcare. Is there any price transparency? If not, how can consumers shop for the best deal? Will you, as a consumer, shopping for the best “deal” lower your quality of care? And the elephant in the room - would increased price transparency lower the cost of healthcare overall? Experts have differing opinions on this and the honest truth is no one will know for sure until it begins to happens. So, what do we know for sure?
We know that healthcare expenditures have been rising substantially for the past decade. We also know that the net healthcare expenditure was over $3.3 trillion in 2016 and projected to be 20% of GDP by the year 2020. Americans consistently spend the most on healthcare of any country in the world. But where is the money actually going? Based on a study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 69% of Americans would like for insurance companies to disclose how much they are paying physicians and hospitals for procedures compared to their out of pocket costs. On top of that, of those who have compared costs, 82% say they would do so again.
The vast majority of consumers would like to know how much something is going to cost before we commit to paying for it. This seems like such a universal concept - except in healthcare. For generations we have been complacent about the lack of price transparency but many are now beginning to ask questions. How can we, as consumers, make price-conscious decisions without transparency? Francois de Brantes, Vice President and Director of the Center for Payment Innovation at the Altarum Institute states, “If you don’t know the price of the service that you are buying before you buy it and you don’t have the ability to compare that to others and determine the value of that purchase, then how is that a functional market? It’s completely dysfunctional.” Although this lack of price transparency and a dysfunctional market exists in some areas of healthcare, some components are regulated more strictly. There are a few areas in healthcare in which the national government and state government have come together to develop better price transparency strategies.
State governments, in particular, have been leading the way when it comes to the price transparency of medical records. Most states have written into law what you can charge provide patients, attorneys, and other authorized parties for medical records. Many times there is even no charge for your first copy of your records! However, when there is a charge, MediCopy is leading the industry when it comes to price transparency. In fact, we are so passionate about it, we wrote a blog! In our blog, which is continuously updated for accuracy, you can find specific information, by state, on medical records and the charges which may be applied. This blog is frequented by patients, providers, law firms, insurance companies, and even other ROI companies to stay “in the know” about this information. We believe in complete transparency, especially for patients. If you do not find the answer to any of your ROI related questions on our website you may always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer your question to the best of our ability!