Why Can’t I Get A Total Price On My Healthcare Procedure Before I Go?

Thomas Farmer

“It looks like we are entering the “shipping & handling” awareness phase of healthcare costs.”

Why can’t I get a total price on my healthcare procedure before I go?

Thomas Farmer, Founder & CEO of Healora, MBA USC, B.A. Economics

Jun 18, 2019

There are several reasons. I am going to use the “shipping & handling” analogy.

Remember when someone would offer a very low price on a product and then shipping and handling was huge?

To be fair there were several things that had to be known before you could get the exact price.

First, what zip code are you sending from and what zip code are you sending to?

Second, how much did it weigh?

Third, how big was the box and what kind of space was it going to take up when transported?

Fourth, did you want special handling for care or speed?

Soon the public figured it out. Then places like Amazon clearly listed the price of the product and the shipping and handling charges. People learned to check both for a total price.

It looks like we are entering the “shipping & handling” awareness phase of healthcare costs.

The key is transparency and a “north star” of pricing as the reference. Medicare seems to be a good reference as it is well documented and utilized. This way the physician can do what is medically necessary and the patient can know the scale of pricing regardless of the procedure. The patient can shop for a perceived extra quality by paying a higher multiple of the Medicare price. Some people may try to find the absolute lowest price and others may want the doctor they see on TV.

The trick will be to extend transparency to any “hidden” fees that are outside of the Medicare reference. Soon patients will ask if there are any potential charges NOT on the Medicare reference menu.

There are many places working on providing a total price for your procedure. Check Oklahoma Surgery Center and Healora.

 

About the Author

Thomas Farmer

MBA, USC – Managed Companies At Senior Level For Over 20 Years

CEO at Healora

Studied at The University of Tennessee

Lives in Santa Monica, CA

 

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