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Will New Price-Comparison Tool In Use By Consumers Be Disruptive?

Hospitals are facing increased scrutiny on pricing, and a new tool in use by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is described in Forbes Jan. 15, 2015 article, “Could This Pricing Tool For Consumers Disrupt Healthcare?” The new tool lets consumers compare pricing across in-network organizations for common procedures, which could be a game-changer if similar tools spring up around the country. At least one provider has already modified its pricing to be more competitive within the tool the article reports. Transparent, competitive pricing is increasingly important as consumers carry more of the burden to pay with high-deductible plans. Craneware’s Brian Workinger authored an article about pricing strategy mentioned on the cover of this month’s Executive Insight magazine. Providers must evaluate their pricing on an on-going basis to continue to thrive in the evolving market. The Advance Healthcare, Executive Insight article, “Revenue Cycle and Pricing Transparency,” details a dozen insights into setting market-competitive pricing and generating a reasonable margin. Specifically, the article explains four key components to setting effective pricing, which include factoring in financial goals, market competition, payment and reimbursement models, and the cost to provide care. What are your thoughts and feelings about this latest development? How is your organization prepared to meet the evolving pressures of consumerism in healthcare?