Price transparency in healthcare is top of mind for patients and providers.
With the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) calling on hospitals to increase price transparency by January 1, 2021, it’s time to prepare for the mandate and get a handle on how your organization will meet this challenge.
Successfully making the transition to offering greater transparency will not only put your organization in compliance, but help satisfy patient demand, increasing patient engagement and even point-of-service payments. As you navigate these new regulations and a landscape where patient estimates become the norm, here are five stats to keep in mind.
1. 74% of consumers would rather pay $50 out of pocket than not know the cost of a primary care visit. 1
Not knowing the costs associated with a healthcare visit can make it difficult for patients to plan and prepare to pay. Patients don’t just prefer price transparency—they’re willing to pay for it.
2. 49% of patients say having a clear estimate of financial responsibility will affect whether they see a certain provider. 2
Offering price transparency may be the difference between whether a patient visits one hospital over another. The same survey indicated that, given an estimate at the time of service, nearly two-thirds of patients would be more willing to make at least a partial payment. Price transparency, therefore, plays a crucial role in determining where and if patients seek care—as well as what they are prepared and willing to pay up front.
3. 300: the number of common shoppable services for which the CMS rule requires hospitals to post pricing. 3
As your response to the mandate takes shape, it’s critical to understand the full extent of what it will require of your organization. It’s not just hospitals that are going to be affected by the CMS mandate—providers not subject to the rule will still need to remain competitive as patients become accustomed to greater transparency.
4. 150: the average amount of hours CMS estimates each hospital will spend to review and post their standard charges for 2021.
…And some experts suggest this projection is too low. 4 The bottom line is meeting this mandate is a real lift for hospitals, despite the many benefits it ultimately delivers to both patients and organizations. That’s why it’s so important to prepare by putting in place the processes and technology solutions that can make the transition as smooth as possible.
5. 60%: the amount Baylor Scott & White increased its point-of-service collections in its North Texas division since it started offering price estimates. 5
While answering the CMS mandate can feel like a burden, health systems that have already branched into greater price transparency have seen an increase in point-of-service collections. With the right approach, your organization can offset costs and strain on staff with tools that will help you grow collections and ease the administrative burden of transitioning to greater price transparency.
Regardless of whether your organization is subject to the CMS mandate, it’s clear that greater price transparency is the future of healthcare. The good news is provider-facing and patient-facing estimation tools are available across the continuum of care today. Waystar offers proven, automated and accurate solutions that are driving increased patient loyalty, greater point-of-service collections and reduced collection costs for organizations around the country. For more information about the mandate and how to prepare, visit Waystar’s price transparency resource center.
1. 10 insights from the Primary Care Consumer Choice Survey, Advisory Board
2. 75% of Patients Look at Price Transparency Ahead of Care Access, Patient Engagement HIT, September 2019
3. Hospital Price Transparency Final Rule, The Medicare Learning Network, December 2019
4. Price Transparency Requirements for Hospitals to Make Standard Charges Public, Department of Health and Human Services, November 2019
5. Achieving transparency in healthcare, Modern Healthcare
Waystar delivers cloud-based technology that simplifies and unifies the healthcare revenue cycle—and brings more transparency to the patient experience.