What is the primary focus of PricingHealthcare.com?
In its most basic form, the site acts as a simple, plain-text search engine dedicated to healthcare facilities and their services.
If you were to compare our limited directory listings to white pages, complete directory listings would be like yellow pages, and dedicated page listings like full front-page ads.
Our site allows patient consumers to find facilities in their area by specialty. It also helps them find providers performing a specific service. This by itself is extremely valuable.
But the real substance of what we do is to help providers publish simplified pricing with facilities' procedure lists, which more and more consumers are desperate for.
But whether providers choose to list procedure prices or not, providers can market themselves on our site for very little cost. We keep fees low to encourage participation.
As consumer and provider adoption grows, the usefulness of the site also grows.
Access to our site is free and open to anyone in the world wanting to view prices and other information posted by healthcare providers throughout the U.S.
What types of healthcare providers can participate?
We encourage providers of any size and specialty to participate, including primary care, hospitals, surgery centers, dentistry, eye care,
chiropractic and alternative medicine, psychology and mental health, long-term care, and more. See the complete list of specialties
Whether providing care in a physical facility or operating at customer residences or on the road, we allow providers to list virtually any kind of healthcare service or procedure,
including those which may be considered non-standard or not covered by insurance. We expect the types of providers represented on our site to continue to expand, in all areas of the country.
Does listing non-insurance pricing online impact the insurance side of my business?
Not at all. Providers posting prices for cash or direct paying patients usually still accept insurance, and have been doing so for years
with no issues. The two are separate from each other.
Won't insurance carriers and worker’s comp. groups complain if my cash rates are lower than what they're paying?
Almost every insurer in the country negotiates with each vendor separately. It would be very difficult for them
to compare publicized cash rates to what they're paying, especially for bundled services.
But third party payers also understand that a more direct payment model, even for an identical medical procedure,
is a very different product that costs the provider less and can be priced lower.
In a simpler payment model, those who pay the full balance upfront require almost no paperwork or costly regulatory oversight. There is also no need for collections, nor any risk of underpayment.
Will insured patients complain about rates that are lower in a simpler model?
Hopefully. Maybe they will start requesting to use the simpler model themselves, saving providers a lot of money and extra hassel.
In a simpler model, a provider's rates apply the same for everyone, regardless of coverage, and whether or not they choose to use their coverage to pay for care.
Why would Medicare patients care about this site?
It's true that 80% of Medicare-approved charges are paid for by the government, making it the lowest cost option for Medicare patients.
However, some healthcare services are not covered by Medicare. More importantly, a large and growing number of providers and facilities do not accept new Medicare patients,
making some high quality physicians and specialists out of reach. Consequently, many Medicare patients are looking for affordable options outside of Medicare.
Nothing prevents a Medicare patient from going outside the government insurance program to pay for care more directly, and a provider's rates in a simpler model
would apply to them as well as anyone else.
Medicare patients should understand that if they choose more direct pricing, Medicare will not reimburse for any portion of the cost.
Am I allowed to post prices online if our practice accepts Medicare?
Yes. Medicare doesn't allow any kind of financial inducement toward Medicare patients to come to a facility,
but cash rates and other listed prices don't offer such an inducement when the facility will not be filing Medicare claims for the procedure.
Doesn't the publicizing of rates just set a provider up to be undercut by other facilities?
We haven’t seen that at all, and we're pretty sure we know why. Patients are concerned
more about quality care that is affordable than getting the absolute cheapest rate. In fact, there's evidence they get nervous when
they can sense their care is being cheapened in a price war. This is even more obvious with employers who use simpler pricing models.
We haven’t seen a race to the bottom, nor any wholesale efforts to undercut competition.
Once our site’s visitors see that a provider’s rates are reasonable, they tend to stop
looking much at the price and start digging into what reviews and quality information are available. This is why Pricing Healthcare
tries to encourage a provider to promote their service and quality record in descriptive text.
What are the pros and cons of being the first provider to list prices in an area?
The pros? Getting in on the ground floor as an early participant (for free), greater visibility, being seen as a leader in the space,
and helping make the marketplace a success. You may feel there are cons for extra visibility in your area, such as possible attention from the local press, or an insurer that
makes you nervous. But if you have those types of concerns, starting with a directory listing (and not posting procedure prices) may be the right way for you to dip
a toe into the water.