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Hospitals Launching Online Price Estimators for Patients

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Modern Healthcare writes: More providers want to offer self-service cost estimators on their websites because they are experiencing strong demand from patients in high-deductible health plans who want to shop around and know their financial exposure in advance. When patients understand how much they’ll owe, that can improve the collection process and reduce uncompensated care, hospital leaders say.¬†¬†These price-estimator tools currently do not offer any type of quality of care, outcomes, or patient satisfaction information to allow consumers to factor those into their shopping decision, though some hospitals may build that in. Another problem with the tool is that the estimate consumers receive may not reflect the full cost of the care because the professional fees are missing and an episode of care may include unanticipated additional services.

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