Trends towards price transparency in the healthcare industry have led practices to require new and innovative methods towards revenue management and marketing. The increasing rates of uninsured Americans and high-deductible health plans have pushed patients to start price shopping for affordable healthcare in the same way they shop for deals in other consumer industries. The price shopping has built patient awareness of things like fee schedules and pricing variances, which makes the demand for pricing transparency more and more influential.
This of course benefits patients by arming them with the appropriate information needed to understand their healthcare. Before, Patients didn’t know that the MRI procedure they received for $3,000 could have been found for $500 if they looked around for a better deal. More importantly however, the patient didn’t realize that the quality of the service at both facilities was not worth the difference in price. Pricing transparency has revealed to many patients that often times, taking the self-pay route, is the most affordable way to get the care they need.
Practices are apprehensive of this mission for price transparency and self-pay patient empowerment due to fears of decreased revenue and poor return on investment after committing themselves to the new strategy. With high insurance costs and diminished reimbursements, imaging centers in particular, are looking for any way to stay afloat. Sticking to the ways of always doing things is not the answer; a new strategy is the answer. A self-pay and pricing transparency strategy is the key.
Without a legitimate strategy geared towards the price sensitive patient market, practices are seeing:
- A missed market segment
- Lost revenue due to poor collections
- Lower patient volume because of commoditization
- Decreased authority in the industry
- Lost leverage
The last thing that the industry needs is for patients consider quality care to be a commodity, simply because they do not know where to find care they can actually afford. These disparities have also led to a warped understanding of price versus value. Patients are programmed to think that if something is more expensive, then it is better, but as we mentioned before, quality is not always reflective of pricing.
By developing a truly manageable self-pay strategy, practices are able to be up to date in the industry, captivating new patients they would have never reached prior. Virtual care is the next step on the horizon in healthcare, and the patient experience starts with picking a facility and scheduling an appointment, which is why Save On Medical aims to help each practice on their site put their best foot forward from the very beginning. With the assistance of Save On Medical, practices are able to follow an effective strategy, measuring success and growth over time, learning from lost patients and growing with their new ones.