Price: Health care's next frontier

First it was quality. Then patient satisfaction. Say hello to health care's new competitive pressure: 

Price.

The Surgery Center of Oklahoma has gone all in on the price front. 

Need an Achilles repair? $5,730.

How about a cochlear Implant? $8,800.

A breast lymph node image will set you back $815.

This is "all inclusive" pricing — one charge for the surgery, the facility fee, the surgeon’s fee and anesthesiologist’s fee. 

One charge. One bill. Simple for the patient.

Have insurance? Read this disclaimer: 

NOTE: If you are scheduled for surgery at our facility and we are filing insurance for you, the prices listed on this website do not apply to you.  

NOTE: If you are scheduled for surgery at our facility and we are filing insurance for you, the prices listed on this website do not apply to you.

 

That's because your insurance provider (whether it be a government-supported program like Medicare or Medicaid or private insurance) negotiates its own rates. They may be higher or lower. And you may never know (but you should!).

The message here? Price is important. More patients are responsible for covering more of the cost of their procedures. That means they will care more and more about price.

So in addition to posting information about quality scores and patient satisfaction scores, hospitals and doctors will now need to consider posting pricing.

Source: 37Signals