Providers underprepared for price transparency: 8 survey findings

As patient financial responsibility continues to increase, patients are beginning to engage providers in financial discussions. Unfortunately, many providers lack the resources to help patients understand and manage their healthcare expenses. 

Navicure commissioned Porter Research to conduct a survey of healthcare organizations in August to determine how they are responding to trends in patient engagement and consumerism. Of 296 survey respondents, about 37 percent were healthcare executives, 34 percent were practice administrators and 28 percent were billing managers.

Below are eight survey findings.

1. About 63 percent of respondents said healthcare consumerism is affecting their patients, specifically in that more patients are proactively asking about their cost of care and becoming more involved in deciding their medical treatment.

2. Respondents said the greatest challenges related to consumerism were implementing tools to estimate cost of care, investing in staff resources and providing multiple convenient payment options.

3. About 40 percent of respondents said they did not know the state of patient estimation and price transparency laws in their state.

4. About 53 percent of respondents said their organization offers online bill payment capabilities, 33 percent provide patient bill estimation services, 26 percent send electronic statements and 25 percent securely store debit and credit care information on file.

5. Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said they do not actively measure patient satisfaction with payment policies.

6. Of organizations that do solicit patient responses, respondents said about 61 percent of patients were "somewhat satisfied."

7. Patient confusion with payment responsibility was the top reported challenge to price transparency with 67 percent of respondents saying patients do not understand their responsibility versus their carrier's responsibility.

8. The top four questions from patients regarding finances included the following:

  • Do you offer payment plans? (58 percent)
  • How much will my treatment cost? (56 percent)
  • What is my balance due? (53 percent)
  • What are your payment options? (43 percent)

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