After years of bipartisan support, the shift toward greater price transparency in healthcare made a lot of headway starting in 2019 when then-President Trump signed an executive order that required hospitals and healthcare facilities to publish their prices more openly. The idea behind this was that having healthcare facilities publish pricing lists would encourage competition that would in turn lower overall care prices and costs for consumers.
However, it is not just governmental entities that have been calling for more price transparency in healthcare. At a time when the financial burdens of healthcare are greater than ever for the average consumer, patients are starting to demand that they be given more information regarding just what it is they are paying for, in the same way they would receive a price when buying any other product.
Before and after the executive order, there were many who expected the set price transparency deadline would be revised. That did not happen. Instead, a district court ruled that it would proceed. As of January 1, 2021, this new rule has been in effect. As a result, CMS will penalize any healthcare facilities that are found to be noncompliant with a written warning (for first offenses), a corrective action plan or a $300 a day fine.
In this blog, we will take a look at some things your practice can do to be better prepared to provide patients with a greater level of price transparency.
In order to prepare your practice for compliance with these new price transparency standards, we recommend taking the following actions:
- Implement Proactive A/R & Payment Plans – Take a proactive approach to your A/R by discussing costs with patients up front and setting up payment plans prior to procedures, if needed.
- Train Your Staff – You will need to train your staff for this transition or have a patient liaison. If your practice has not had someone in this role before, you will need to train him/her on communication with patients and setting up financial expectations.
- Incorporate Price Transparency & Publish Price Lists – Make your fees openly available for patients by publishing your practice’s standard fees. This will allow patients to see what their costs are going to be up front and there will be none of the usual shock when it comes time to charge them for services.
- Setup Online Bill Pay – By making sure your practice has integrated credit card processing, you can provide patients the option of online bill payments, or even make it possible for patients to pay their copays prior to a visit.
By getting in front of this shift towards greater price transparency in healthcare, your practice will be ready to demonstrate compliance and avoid any possible fines as well as the time and expense that comes with being forced to adhere to a corrective action plan. It will also provide your practice with the added benefits of reduced A/R, faster collections and a more enjoyable patient experience.
To learn more about how Nextech can set up your practice for success, fill out this form and we will contact you soon!