Price Transparency

Why Healthcare Can’t Escape the Tie Between Price and Value

A study conducted by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) recently provided key insights on the link between cost and value in healthcare. The examination was covered between 2010 and 2012 on patients that were actively seeking MRI services

Here are some facts about the study:

  • There were two sets of groups examined.
  •  Set #1 – received valuable pricing information and details regarding MRI providers in their region. Consequently, a drop of $99 was secured, and these patients ultimately paid around ten percent less.
  • Set #2 – was in a similar predicament to set#1, but never received the pricing details that the first set of patients were privileged to receive. Subsequently, this group spent ten percent more or $97.
  • The price difference between the two can be largely owed to Set #1’s use of low-cost and independently-run outpatient facilities, compared to the traditional hospitals in the area.
  • The first set of patients migrated signups from hospital MRI services to outpatient centers from about 45-53%.

It is clear from the study that there is a new way to approach customers:

Direct Marketing

– The first set of patients were looking for quality and low-cost care when it came to magnetic resonance imaging, for whatever health-related issue they were facing at the time. The health plans knew this, and so, directed their marketing materials and transparent pricing accordingly.

Pricing Is Applicable

– The pricing of health services fluctuates due to a range of variables, but the study suggests informing patients of new pricing and details as soon as these come in.

Timing Is Everything

– Healthcare facilities, whether independent or corporate, should run like a business while providing exceptional value to patients. To take advantage of the best times to approach new patients with pricing details, a good example can be taken from this study: the first set of patients were provided comparisons when they most needed it.

A lot of the general population will miss critical services, due to high pricing. The study however shows a change in perceptions when price comparisons and transparency are furnished. Patients will ultimately value quality services, affordable pricing, and clear details about what’s included.