Why this rural hospital is banking on price transparency

The rural Unionville, Mo.-based Putnam County Memorial Hospital has designed a unique strategy to keep itself afloat, according to NPR's member station KBIA and Side Effects Public Media.

It plans to publish a price list for procedures.

With increasing popularity of high-deductible health plans and local Amish and Mennonite communities, which do not use health insurance, Putnam County Memorial has a sizeable patient population shopping for healthcare by price. In fact, the hospital's COO Jerry Cummings told the radio station the hospital's percentage of self-pay patients jumped from 3 percent to 11 percent in a year.

By publically publishing prices for certain procedures, Putnam County Memorial hopes to capture the business of these populations, in particular the Amish and Mennonite communities, which are willing to travel for the best price, according to the report.

 

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