In the near future, hospitals will compete for business just like other service industries, i.e., restaurants and retailers, to name a few. For example, consider how someone finds the best speaker to buy on the market. They go online and compare prices, specs and quality. Knowing this information, they can then decide whether they will choose a certain speaker or not. For years, healthcare was immune to this level of consumerism, but since the push for stricter price transparency laws in healthcare, the consumer now has all the information they need to choose your hospital or not. The truth this change brings is that consumerism isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it is only going to get ramped up. As it will affect their bottom line, hospitals should take this seriously and plan to align with consumer demands and expectations.
Of the various factors that impact your healthcare organization’s profitability, pricing is an often overlooked lever that you have control over. Even those healthcare organizations that do address pricing sometimes undermine their strategic pricing strategies by failing to address lesser-of-charge clauses or skipping the charge description master (CDM) modeling process, which can wreak havoc on their bottom line. The price transparency mandate added another layer of complexity, as raising prices to eliminate lower reimbursement may have adverse effects.