Quality Care & Pricing Transparency: Tools for Medical Success

For independent diagnostic imaging centers and radiology centers, the time has come in the game for you to pull ahead of the competition.  What is this advantage that local healthcare providers are going to have over hospital systems? It has nothing to do with the best practice management, return on investment or event revenue cycle management. It lies in the hands of three game-changing, delineating measurement points; the Patient Experience, Pricing Transparency and the Culture of Care. 

These three elements nod to the groundwork of what health care should represent, a focus on physicians providing quality care, building relationships with every patient, every time.  The Patient Experience is composed of the same measurement points that contribute to HCAHPS scores. (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey, standardized and developed to measure how patients perceive the service and care they receive in hospitals) Things like how well technicians and radiologists communicate with patients and their families, the responsiveness to patient needs, pain, medications and inquiries, and the overall atmosphere of the hospital, in addition to the overall patient perception of the health system all add up.  These concepts combined with a physician’s proven quest for wellness for his or her patients, makes up a Culture of Care. So how are independent physicians benefitting from this, you may ask? Simple. Due to the size of Hospital systems, they often miss the boat on quality care. They are constantly scrambling to focus on their HCAHPS scores and grades, needing to cut costs, and unfortunately forgetting that the Patient Experience is foremost, imperative in preserving the Culture of Care.  It is every hospital’s dream to be able to execute relations in this way, however their size makes this level of caring a daunting task. Independent radiologists are able to focus on providing more personalized services and thus truly foster those relationships.

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Due to patients’ knowledge that they are in possession of the power due to value-based purchasing regulations, a new level of clinical standards have been set.  These standards have opened the doors for pricing transparency and the opportunity for patients to become more knowledgeable of what they are truly paying for in the health care world.  This means good things for independent physicians, because patients will realize from their research that comparing independent practices to hospital systems is like comparing apples to oranges.  Physicians in every sector of health care are speaking in hushed tones about the concept of self-pay, which used to mean higher costs and more complications for both patients and physicians. This new era in Health Care Reform and pricing transparency means an opportunity for all physicians, especially radiologists, to target patients, insured or uninsured, in reference to personalized, affordable service and quality care, things that hospital systems simply are not prepared to provide.