Mainstream America’s View on Healthcare Price-Transparency

On election day, I thought it would be appropriate to share some information from the ‘frontlines’ of healthcare in the state that decided the last presidential election and is often seen as the ‘bellwether’ of mainstream US political sentiment: OHIO.

Kate Hubben from Willis wrote a very nice piece for Crain’s Cleveland Business in June of this year entitled, “Adviser: We must be more aware of the cost of healthcare.”

The article describes the prominent place that–what Ms. Hubben calls–‘cost transparency’(aka price-transparency) holds in employee benefits today.

Here are some great stats from the article:

  • 60% of Americans think that greater cost transparency in healthcare is a good idea.  It is the only aspect of Health Reform that is favored by more than 50% of Americans.
  • 30% of medical procedures are considered ‘shoppable.’
  • Difficulty in understanding healthcare options is thought to result in 3%-6% higher healthcare costs.
  • Consumers currently don’t do much homework prior to care: only 30% even check to see if a hospital is in-network before receiving care.
  • The stats are even worse for looking up ‘cost transparency’: only 2% of healthcare consumers use a price-transparency tool if it is available to them.
  • But the trend in cost transparency is growing: 33% of employers currently offer price-transparency tools for their employees and an additional 25% plan to offer them.

The article ends with a great quote about the challenges of changing habits.  I would agree with Ms. Hubben that the ‘habit’ of being a passive patient rather than an activated healthcare consumer will be a challenge and will take time and persistence to occur.  The good news is that for those that do change their healthcare consumer habits for the better, the result is not only lower cost, but higher quality care as well.

Click on the less than 2-min video below to see how Compass Professional Health Services helps employees change their healthcare consumer habits for the better.