Like every other industry, the healthcare sector has its ups and downs. While we are rapidly moving towards advancement and technical growth, there is still scope to work on other areas in this business. The healthcare industry is majorly based on trust and transparency. But what happens when officials fail to provide their patients with the data they demand to know about? Are healthcare professionals telling us everything? how much do we really know about the services we pay for?
Healthcare costs and how it affects the patient?
Healthcare cost is a controversial topic and a survey conducted by VisiQuate found that it the least transparent area in the economy. Patients mentioned that they are hit up with unexpected bills and medical procedures without a proper explanation as to why they are necessary. What is even more heartbreaking that a 2017 Gallup survey revealed that people also delayed treatments because they were worried about the costs and later it was fount that 63 percent of them needed to be administered for chronic conditions. This shows how the lack of cost transparency negatively impacts the consumer side of healthcare.
Transparency in healthcare: How it helps?
There have been multiple examples of drug scams wherein an individual was charged way out of proportion. The public is aware of exactly nothing in terms of how much money is a particular drug, service, test or procedure worth. Doctors and hospitals that provide detailed information on where and how the patient’s money is getting distributed are at an advantage, suggests the survey by VisiQuate. This is because it helps them gain credibility and a patient is more likely to recommend and visit a medical center that has their trust. Extremely high charges result in healthcare providers getting duped in bad debt as patients cannot incur such payments for the treatment they already received. They also withhold potentially important details about their health as they do not want the hospital’s fee to rise. It also makes the physician incompetent as he is not fully aware of the patient’s problem. It was also shown that medical bills bankruptcy is primarily caused due to medical bills since 2001.
How can the medical sector become more cost transparent?
Physicians should avoid referring their patients to any facility that is not explicit about their price structure. This would help avoid unforeseen charges. Another place for improvement lies in the insurance department. People should take the time to properly understand what their health policy claim covers. Then again they should not shy away from asking hard questions to those in charge to reveal what is really going on. This change needs to start and it needs to start now!