Before we explain how to lower the cost of healthcare, let’s discuss one reason healthcare costs more in this country than many others. The quality of care is great here. There’s no place I’d rather be sick than in the US. But why does it cost more than other industrialized countries?
Why the cost of healthcare is so high?
So much of the healthcare that we receive is filtered through our health insurance. That means we don’t always know exactly how much services cost. At most we’ll see the negotiated fee between the provider and the insurance company. Essentially, healthcare facilities will charge whatever they think your health insurance will cover. The more insurance will cover, the more healthcare facilities can charge. That increases costs unnecessarily.
Don’t believe me? Then why do healthcare facilities offer lower cost self-pay rates when you don’t use insurance? They understand that if you’re paying out of pocket (due to lack of insurance or more typically because you haven’t met your deductible), you’re more discerning because it’s a first-party transaction. Take that one step further. If self-pay prices were posted online, that price awareness would result in more discerning consumers. To attract those discerning consumers, facilities would lower their prices. That’s competition – the secret ingredient to lowering healthcare costs.
But there’s a key secondary ingredient to make this work. The hope of attracting consumers isn’t enough. Facilities need a way of capturing those new prospective patients.
Using an interactive Price Estimator on the facilities’ website can get consumers to check pricing but only after they provide their contact info. A lead for follow up. This gives the facility the ability to contact patients and help navigate them through the gauntlet of healthcare.
In summary, competition can lower healthcare costs but to get more buy-in from providers, they need something in return – a lead.