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As consumers face higher and higher out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services, they will demand greater value, according to a comprehensive report published by healthcare industry experts Daniel Weinbach, Richard Klass, and Justin Irizarry. The three announced the publication of their white paper, “Healthcare Pricing Strategies In A World Of Price Transparency.” The report examines the current status of healthcare price transparency and explains how providers can prepare for a new era where consumers are likely to shop for certain services using price as a key variable in their decision making.
The authors have made the report available for download at http://www.weinbachgroup.com/articles/healthcare-pricing-strategies-in-a-world-of-price-transparency.
The three men developed the report in response to widespread interest following the American Hospital Association’s 2017 conference of healthcare strategy and marketing executives, known as SHSMD, which stands for the Society of Healthcare Strategy and Market Development. They were invited to present at the gathering of more than 2,000 industry decision makers.
“Healthcare pricing remains mysterious and opaque, in large part because of conscious efforts on behalf of the healthcare provider community,” said Daniel Weinbach, president and CEO of The Weinbach Group, a Miami -based marketing firm that specializes in the healthcare industry, and one of the report’s co-authors. “However, when it comes to shoppable services — those services that are widely available and which require the patient to pay a significant share of the cost — we expect to see far more transparency surrounding pricing. Patients will demand it.”
Consumer groups, insurance companies, and some states have advocated for greater price transparency for years, and as a result, many providers’ “retail prices” are available to patients. However, the actual prices that insurance companies pay for those services are often protected by airtight confidentiality agreements.
“The first step in this process is for consumers to gain access to real prices along with information that sheds light on the quality of a provider,” said Richard Klass, a co-author of the report and a senior executive with the market research firm KCI Partners. “Only when consumers have price and quality information can they determine value. And value is the key driver of consumer decision making.”
The report’s authors advise hospitals, health systems, and other providers that price transparency is coming soon, and they need to prepare now. “Those healthcare organizations that leverage their most appealing attributes and integrate price into their positioning will be most prepared for an era of price transparency and consumerism,” said Justin Irizarry, the report’s third co-author and a co-founder of Miami-based OrthoNow.
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