How to successfully implement price transparency — 4 insights

Written by Megan Wood | May 01, 2017 | Print  |

As consumers become increasingly price savvy when shopping for healthcare, organizations will get a leg up with price transparency policies. Plastic surgeon Jonathan Kaplan, MD, offers his thoughts on price transparency in an article published in Medical Economics.

Here are four key insights:

 

1. Develop a fee schedule. With rising deductibles, patients are realizing they may pay out-of-pocket for some services. Thus, they will want to know the price before committing. Providers must offer real price points, not national averages. That is, provide a fee schedule that outlines discounts and fees for patients not using their insurance.

 

2. Capture patient information. Dr. Kaplan notes he doesn't publish a static list of procedures with prices on his website. Instead, consumers visiting his site may create a wishlist with desired procedures, and determine the cost via a price estimator. Once the site collects the patient's name, email address, phone number and ZIP code, a cost breakdown of selected procedures is sent to the patient's email.

 

3. Re-engage with patients. With a price estimation sent directly to a patient's email, the practice now possesses valuable contact information to develop new patient relationships. Additionally, providers can tag these patients as potential self-paying consumers in their databases.

 

4. Free up the front staff. Since such an overwhelming amount of a practice's phone calls regard procedure prices, a price estimator will help ease the burden on the front staff and free up their time for higher priority tasks. The staff also won't misquote a price, leading to trouble later, because it's all automatically generated through the estimator.

 

A 2016 study published in Annals of Plastic Surgery found Dr. Kaplan's practice received 412 wish lists from 208 unique leads in its first year. Of those, 17.8 percent came in for a consultation and 62 percent of the consultations led to booked procedures.

More articles on practice management:
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Monarch Medical kickback scheme could put owners, 21 physicians in prison: 5 things to know

 

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