Healthcare Costs add up

For any individual in America, healthcare is one of the most important and expensive purchases one can make. Many Americans complain about the steep prices of healthcare. However, only a few people know just how much good healthcare costs. Doctors do not keep a price list of their services on the walls. Prescription drug prices are not advertised to the patient. In many instances, a drug may cost $20 with a prescription and if the patient spends his or her own money. The same drug price could be jacked up to $200 if the same patient buys through his or her medical insurance package. No wonder physicians sign up with big insurers and claim to discount the fees. The actual amount charged gets lost in the red tape.

No price transparency

For any patient, the concept of price transparency does not exist. It is a complex problem as there are a number of factors involved. The list of variables include the location of the service, the insurance kind, and the specific insurance coverage. Such absence of pricing transparency has become a gathering point for those who feel the pinch of expenses linked with the High Deductible Health Plans. It is seen patients now want to know more about how much the procedure will cost. They want to find out the amount of money they could be compelled to pay post the filing of insurance claims.

Thanks to sustained efforts, the consumer has now much more access to increased quantum of information. This includes not only the treatment cost, but also the quality of care. A majority of insurance websites inform physicians with the frequency of procedures, and their quality. The list of costs are also sent to the concerned doctor. In contrast, the supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry is a complex one. Consumers frequently find themselves at the deep end as the intermediaries and payers negotiate all the net price discounts.

New, better law

Healthcare transparency received a big boost when a new law came into effect in Colorado from January 1, 2018. This specific law compels hospitals to post all self pay pricing for common treatments and procedures. The new law makes physicians to post prices for the 15 frequently done procedures. It is anticipated that more state legislation will be passed which will push the healthcare providers to adopt transparent policies. The companies will spell out the charge amount details and relevant technology solutions costs.

Leave a Comment