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Healthcare Pricing Transparency is Going to Sting

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, June 6, 2014

So far largely unseen and unfelt, the effects of making provider pricing data public are about to impact hospitals and health systems in a big way. I'm not going to lie to you—this is going to hurt.

The rise of services that attempt to compare prices in healthcare is hurtling toward disrupting your revenue cycle and your margin.

Are you ready?

It's an exceedingly difficult question for hospital and health system executives to answer for a couple of reasons. One is that most of them, at least based on my informal surveying, have seen little evidence of comparative shopping for healthcare services. They may get a phone call every once in a while from someone shopping for an MRI price or a hip replacement surgery, for example, but those are few and far between.

But I don't think you can gauge the momentum behind this trend by individual patient phone calls. Eventually, leaving quality out of the equation for a second, you'll be able to gauge it by seeing patient volumes going to competitors because your organization has higher prices, or vice-versa.


Kill Your Chargemaster


I predict that many healthcare senior leaders won't realize this search for transparency in the name of cutting healthcare costs is affecting them until it affects them radically. In that sense, to borrow a phrase from the Black Power movement of the 1960s, the revolution will not be televised.

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