June 25, 2019
Whether a consumer has insurance or is self-paying for medical services, the most asked question is, “What will my out-of-pocket cost be?”
Now, thanks to the evolution of Memorial Healthcare System’s healthcare price website, the answer is just a few keystrokes away.
Memorial’s online transparency tool is fully interactive and allows those researching specific procedures to enter individual insurance information and receive a quote in seconds that factors in deductibles, copays, and other policy details. There is also an option to research cost for those who don’t have or don’t want to use insurance. Additionally, the Healthcare Made Clear pages include:
• what is and isn’t included in the estimate
• financing options
• locations where the procedure is performed
• what the procedure entails from a medical perspective
• why Memorial may be the right choice
Additionally, there are separate sections that provide comprehensive data about patient satisfaction, quality/safety, and how many times the procedure has been performed by Memorial doctors.
“The healthcare industry has taken a quantum leap forward, as we believe it should, in being transparent with consumers regarding pricing, safety, and quality information,” Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs at Premier, a healthcare improvement company that has more than 4,000 hospitals and 165,000 provider organizations as clients. “The next step that must be taken is to ensure that data is easily accessible and understandable, something Memorial Healthcare System has done with their online tools.
From what I’ve seen, they are leading the way in providing audiences an incredibly simple, yet comprehensive, web-based experience. More than just data, they are presenting all the information a potential patient needs to make informed care and financial decisions.”
“We believe we have the most advanced online tool available to consumers looking for answers that empower the decision-making process,” said Matthew Muhart, Memorial Healthcare System’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “We were early advocates of pricing and quality/safety transparency and are dedicated to providing information that is easy to access, use, and customizable to individual situations.”
Memorial (www.mhs.net) began its “Right to Know” campaign in 2014 and has been steadily building on original efforts as part of its mission to provide the highest quality patient and family-centered care.
From the start, the South Florida-based healthcare system has posted independently verified quality/safety data, self-pay rates, and extensive information about common procedures, hospitals, and service lines. “Others have met industry requirements by posting static documents, requiring prospective patients to call during business hours, or submit forms. Our focus has always been to be a resource, not an impediment, to the informed consumer. It’s one of the ways we move health forward,” said Muhart.
Muhart cites a recent report (“Humanizing Brand Experience”) by Monigle as evidence Memorial’s systemwide approach is working. The Denver-based healthcare consulting firm ranked the healthcare system’s brand #1 in the U.S., ahead of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, based on consumer surveys.
As a testament to Memorial's price transparency efforts, the signing of an executive order by President Trump on Monday to require hospitals to publish prices that reflect the actual costs of services reflects our ongoing commitment to providing patients and their families with as much information about their healthcare costs upfront.