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Only 23% of Hospitals Offer Out-of-Pocket Price Guarantees for Select Services

Analysis  |  By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   September 08, 2021

The Kaufman Hall survey found that although consumerism remains a hot topic and buzzword, many hospitals and health systems' digital efforts are stalling.

Despite price transparency rules having been in place since January, there are still wide gaps in the availability of those offerings from health systems and hospitals, Kaufman Hall's 2021 Healthcare Consumerism Survey.

The most common pricing transparency offerings for consumers are online price estimators, with 63% of surveyed hospitals and health systems having them.

Other popular price transparency offerings are online forms for receiving out-of-pocket cost estimates (63%), staff answering price questions in person (49%), and out-of-pocket price guarantees for select services (23%).

The survey also found that although consumerism remains a hot topic and buzzword, many hospitals and health systems' digital efforts are stalling.

For instance, only 7% of participating organizations performed in the first tier of the Kaufman Hall Healthcare Consumerism Index, which demonstrates having a dedicated focus and resources for building a consumer-centric infrastructure.


  • 46% of the institutions surveyed were in tier two: They have "a thoughtful approach to becoming more consumer-centric, investing in infrastructure and initiatives that are being expanded systemwide."
  • 39% were in tier three (46%), or Tier 3: They have "begun to target specific consumer-oriented strategies but are not yet building an infrastructure for sustained success."
  • 7% were in tier four: They were not working on these consumer-oriented strategies.

“While hospitals and health systems rallied to meet the challenges of the pandemic in 2020 with new virtual care options, momentum has stalled,” Paul Crnkovich, Kaufman Hall managing director, said in a statement.

Instead of simply offering virtual visits, hospitals and health systems must focus on "truly prioritizing digital capabilities that enhance the consumer experience," he said.

The survey also found:

  • 76% percent of health system respondents cited UnitedHealth/Optum as a strong or extreme competitive threat, up from 67% in 2019
  • 90% of organizations surveyed offer telehealth services
  • 73% provide walk-in clinics
  • Only 37% offer in-home monitoring
  • Only 22% offer home-based primary care
  • 66% of organizations place a high or extreme priority on redesigning and expanding digital capabilities and physical facilities, yet just 11% are best in class for providing those services
  • Two-thirds of survey respondents indicated they are somewhat or moderately concerned about volume recovery. Only 12% of respondents are very or extremely concerned about volume recovery

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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