Transparency provides competitive edge for health care providers

As high-deductible health plans become increasingly popular, cost may become a primary deciding factor for consumers seeking medical providers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers want the cheapest price. Instead, they want to spend their dollars wisely by understanding pricing and seeing clear accountability for outcomes.

In a word, they want transparency.

“The future of meaningful health care competition lies in ensuring full transparency on pricing, quality and outcomes so that all participants in the health care marketplace have the information they need to make informed choices,” wrote Merrill Goozner, the editor of “Modern Healthcare,” in a recent blog post.

That sentiment dovetails with the goals of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which has launched the Hospital Compare and Physician Compare websites to help consumers make better choices. The CMS will also use accountability measures to determine Medicaid reimbursements and penalties beginning in 2017.

As value-based reimbursement becomes the standard for health care services, organizations embracing transparency in cost structures and outcomes will thrive. While this does force providers and insurers to disclose sometimes sensitive business details, the payoff will be greater consumer confidence and patient loyalty.

To learn more about the trends in transparency and how your organization can respond, download our most recent trend report: “Transparency becoming health care’s new normal.” For more coverage of this topic and others, please also visit our new web site at RISKMATTERS.

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