Consumers are becoming increasingly responsible for a large portion of today’s healthcare costs. This includes a lot of women.
Women, in general, have proven to need a wide variety of treatments including for pregnancy, surgical procedures, dental procedures, and more.
This has been the trend for as long as we can remember. As a result, there have been cries for a closer assessment of healthcare costs and a keen eye on understanding and making good use of available transparency tools so women can get quality care at affordable costs or for free if it is possible.
If you don’t have health insurance, you can opt for a better solution like a free women’s clinic Cicero, Il.
In this article, we are going to discuss the transparency of the healthcare industry; whether you are getting treatment and care for free or paid.
Prior to engaging a healthcare provider, patients want to be able to compare the prices for a particular service.
In other words, because of their stake in the healthcare system, patients want the right to be able to choose wisely.
The Patient’s Request
For that reason, transparency tools have become more sought-after by patients and have seen popularity in a wide range of industries.
In the same way that a person can shop for airfares or insurance, you may wonder why there aren’t more transparency tools in the healthcare industry.
The healthcare industry is filled with black holes because some providers don’t want to divulge too much information to patients.
However, patients deserve to know and transparency tools are one of their demands as some healthcare organizations are finding out, but employers are slower in seeing the big picture.
When patients are engaged and given a chance to make their choices, their health outcome sees a noticeable improvement.
Advanced technology supports this type of engagement. So, more healthcare organizations need to jump onboard.
The outcome far exceeds the cost of providing these transparency tools. The idea that patients want to be part of their own healthcare decisions is enough information for organizations to meet the demand. Why?
This shows that patients are serious about their health and the entire nation will benefit from those results.
More patients will be healthier prior to the introduction of any transparency tools.
The Barriers to Patient Engagement
There are some barriers, however, to patient engagement.
The engaged patient will be healthier as was established before and so they will have less need for health services.
So, of course, many healthcare organizations are concerned about the economics and policies that will be affected by this.
While engagement is able to empower the patient, lower healthcare costs, provide improved care and result in better outcomes.
The barriers that exist include:
- Health inequality since not all patients will be engaged
- Financial hindrance for some in the healthcare system
- Partial healthcare access because some healthcare organizations will still want to hold back
Prior to the introduction of transparency tools in the healthcare industry, patients were only able to depend on a reliable estimate for their medical bills through the co-payment and that wasn’t always accurate.
On many occasions, patients had to wait for an invoice in the mail to understand their benefits.
With transparency tools, patients are better equipped, actively searching for the best healthcare prices and quality physician ratings across a wide range of channels.
Providing Easy Patient Access
For patients to become fully engaged and eager to access transparency tools in the healthcare industry, they should become active participants in selected healthcare committees, especially those that show an interest in facilitating patient engagement.
Employers and healthcare organizations should make their patient portal easily accessible electronically so that everything is automated.
This provides the convenience and flexibility necessary for improved patient engagement.
Employers should also stay abreast of current public policies and development of healthcare standards, which will ultimately support patient engagement.
Offer various incentives to patients that want to use the transparency tools and eliminate any fees associated with the process of receiving electronic duplicates of their medical records.
Steps to Increasing Number of Engaged Patients
Over time, companies or employers can increase the number of patients that are engaged by retraining patients to view the process as a consumer and not just an employee.
Patients want to have a better user experience from functional portals and so companies should invest in improved functionality.
Other consumer-related tools that companies should consider for transparency include:
- Easy access to pricing for different medical procedures or a combination of medical procedures
- Educating patients about healthcare so they can make a more informed decision
- Create a portal community where users can share their experiences and information
- Information readily available so that patients can compare and distinguish the quality of care from different healthcare providers
- Provide reviews and testimonials
- Easy scheduling with confirmation
Time to Develop Trust
Transparency tools in the healthcare system were once taboo as patients did not trust those in the medical community.
As time and technology take center stage and the healthcare system experiences changes, many health organizations are looking for new ways to facilitate patient engagement.
Emphasis is now being placed on meeting the expectations of the patient by offering the appropriate information and having open communication to benefit the patient; whether you have chosen a free women’s clinic Cicero il offers or a paid one.