What technologies are needed for success with price transparency?

Leaders from across the healthcare industry share insights about price transparency, Part 3 of 3

By | 2 minute read | November 6, 2019

woman at table with documents

Introduction: Since the White House released an executive order to help improve price transparency for healthcare consumers, industry leaders have been discussing and preparing for the final rule. This post is the third in a three-part series sharing insights from an executive panel that included Millicent Cox-Edwards, Senior Director, Kaiser-Permanente; Alexander Domaszewicz, Principal and Senior Consultant, Mercer; Dr. Jeffrey Guy, Vice President, Clinical Services Group, HCA Healthcare; and Lilly Stairs, Patient Advocate and Head of Client Relations, Savvy Cooperative. Statements have been edited for clarity and length.

Throughout our panel discussion, we heard that enabling price transparency will require a focus on data, trust in the data, interoperability, data-driven insights, as well as the tools, resources and education everyone needs to apply this information. I asked our panelists: What technologies are needed for success with price transparency?

Interoperability and flow of information between systems is key

Dr. Jeffrey Guy (Provider): There’s nearly universal agreement that the greatest opportunity for improvement is in better coordination of care. We’re all sitting on different technology platforms. When a patient is discharged from the hospital, it should trigger an alert to the care coordinator, and when there’s no claim for a prescription, we could intervene and get him what he needs before he ends up in the ER. So, when we talk about price transparency for “shoppable services,” where patients can get their tests wherever and expect the doctor to just pull that information in – we’re just not there yet. It will take more coordination to get there.

Tools that make data actionable and easy to use

Sander Domaszewicz (Employer): All of this requires data, data sharing and tools that patients and employees can understand. Data is the new oil in this revolution and technology can enable people to schedule the right bundle of services as advised by their trusted physicians – what they need to get, where they need to get them, and put together in an actionable way. Transparency tools should make the information actionable and easy to use, rather than delivering something you see, react to and scratch your head trying to get value from it.

Proactive estimates, patient and provider access to similar information

Millicent Cox-Edwards (Health Plan/Provider): One of the ways we’ve partnered with our medical groups is to give patients access to the cost of services proactively, before the day of service. Through our cost estimation tool, we have the ability for providers to click on the button and view that information within the EHR. The ability for our patients and providers to access the same information is invaluable; it allows information to be actionable and shared as they partner and navigate healthcare.

Comprehensive, coordinated information with customized support

Lilly Stairs (Patient Advocate): When we think about solutions patients are looking for, which we asked for in a survey Savvy Cooperative conducted a couple of months ago, patients told us they would love a dashboard that linked the provider, health plan, specialty pharmacy – everyone that touches their healthcare would be looped in. Layered on top of this, patients really want and need support once they have this information. They want customized attention from someone who can be with them throughout each step of the process.

Listen to the full webinar

Webinar: Price Transparency – What should hospitals do now?


Read other posts in this series: