With the advent of the internet and other digital tools, healthcare consumers’ participation is beginning to resemble consumer behavior in other markets. Access to doctors’ notes and medical records make the doctor-patient relationship more equitable, and our ability to research and make informed decisions about our health is more reminiscent than ever of how we shop for a new appliance or vehicle.
What remains a challenge for healthcare consumers, however, is the lack of price transparency. No one decides to buy a new refrigerator or truck without considering cost — so why is healthcare any different?
Price Transparency and Why It Matters
“Sticker shock” after a routine visit to a primary care physician is a reality that many patients face. The uncomfortable waiting period between going to the doctor and getting the bill can cause anxiety for many health care consumers. When consumers don’t have the tools they need to manage their healthcare, including financial information, prices go up and efficiency goes down. When considering a health plan for your employees, make sure it recognizes the importance of price transparency.
Challenges to Healthcare Price Transparency
Unlike shopping for household appliances, many factors impact healthcare pricing. Multiple service providers and specialty procedures across separate healthcare entities can make it difficult to establish one consistent price for patients across the board. Online outlets like message boards and social media allow patients to research cost and crowdsource information on the effectiveness of various health services, albeit ineffectively.
At Canopy Health, we believe the most efficient way to empower and engage our members is to implement practices that facilitate price transparency and greater consumer engagement rather than exclusively relying on tools to keep them in the loop. This is one of the benefits of the Accountable Care Network model; when doctors, hospitals, and providers work together to manage costs and deliver care, not only is the delivery more efficient, but patients also receive better experiences and outcomes.
And at Canopy Health, we’re up-front about out-of-pocket costs and coverage at every point in the healthcare journey. We can give you the tools to help educate your employees, making them more health-literate and empowered to better manage their care.
Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Are Wasted Annually on Inefficient Health Care
According to the Institute of Medicine, some $750 billion in annual funding is wasted, with most of the wasteful spending coming from inefficient care, unnecessary services, and a failure to prevent expensive health conditions.
Health insurance premiums have increased by nearly 70% in the last decade, and more individuals and families are choosing high-deductible plans. At the same time, health literacy remains low, and pricing information is a murky mystery to many consumers. Ignoring these problems continues to cost taxpayers, consumers, and employers thousands of wasted dollars every year.
Price Transparency and Coordinated Care Reduces Cost and Increases Transparency
At Canopy Health, we understand firsthand the power of efficient and transparent care. Our network of 19 hospitals and nearly 5,000 doctors means that the referral process is smooth and easy, with no unnecessary steps. We’re able to keep costs down for employers and make sure your employees are getting the care they need from the finest doctors and health practitioners in the Bay Area.
Most importantly, we believe it’s only right that members have the information they need to make good decisions. Up-front data about costs and straightforward recommendations from providers help members avoid unnecessary procedures and practice smart investments in their health outcomes.
Canopy Health Believes in Transparency
At Canopy Health, we’re committed to empowering patients and providing a higher level of care. We’re growing our robust network of doctors, hospitals, and care providers who are all invested in the Accountable Care Organization model. With an alliance of nearly 5,000 physicians and dozens of care centers across nine Bay Area counties.
Fung, B. (2012, September 7). How the U.S. health-care system wastes $750 billion annually. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/09/how-the-us-health-care-system-wastes-750-billion-annually/262106/
Hermann, R., Kratka, A., & Wong, C. (2017, December 4). Finding health care prices online — How difficult is it to be an informed healthcare consumer? JAMA Internal Medicine. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2663755?resultclick=1&redirect=true