Hospitals Must Be Clearer on Their Pricing

Healthcare Finance makes a good observation on healthcare pricing: “Even when patients stop and ask for directions, it’s hard to get the information they need.”

Most of what’s available to patients, in fact, comes from insurers, apps and third party entities, and it shouldn’t be that way, according to Patient Engagement Specialist Jan Oldenburg. As a result many patients are left deeply frustrated.

She’s got plenty of anecdotal evidence that patients are caught in a vortex of frustration, like one story of a client who tried to simply find the cost of an ultrasound. The man carried a $6500 deductible and wanted to be prepared.

Oldenberg said it took 15 phone calls and web research to get to pricing information and what might be a reasonable price. Ultimately, he was billed the wrong amount and it took more phone calls to resolve that issue.

It’s just one example. But it points to why hospital executives should act sooner rather than later to make pricing information more transparent to consumers.

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