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Industry Insights

Price Transparency and Consumerism

Part Three - What You Want to Accomplish


Previous: Two - Consumerism Today in Healthcare

Next: Four - Patient Engagement Tips

Transcribed Video Content Below

Greg: So now let's do a little bit deeper dive and let's look at some actual website pages that offer patient estimates to see what's out there today.

Brad: And will start out with a few baseline thoughts around this. So first and most importantly, every web page and every section of every web page really needs to have a purpose and a goal in mind. So think about what actions do you want the patient to take when they're on your website. Do you want to encourage them to learn more about your hospital or your estimates? Or do you maybe want them to submit information with a call to action button?

Another thing to keep in mind is color schemes. So we've actually seen studies that show how important color is to prompt users to take action. Brighter colors like orange and red can actually elicit a 30% higher click rate than colors like blue and green. So keep that in mind as we show you some examples of hospital websites here in just a few minutes. And then finally, we want to keep it consistent design and flow, that's easy to navigate and user-friendly. Keep in mind, that as soon as a website visitor gets frustrated or confused, the probability of that user leaving your website highly increases.

So we all know these two companies right, Amazon and Walmart, now whether you prefer Amazon or Walmart's navigation and layout better, it really comes down to personal preference. It's really in the eye of the beholder. One thing I want to point out on both of these is the power of personalization if you take a look at that Amazon screenshot there. I'm actually signed into my account. So you can see that everything is personalized for Brad, my music, my video recommendation, my book suggestions. And we'll really going to get into why personalization is so important in healthcare in just a few minutes with some example.

So in these next few slides, we're going to show you some examples of how hospitals are currently providing patients with prices online. Keep in mind, there's no right or wrong as long as you're providing the pricing information that your patients need. But I encourage you as we walk through these to think about what factors are most important for your hospital.

Greg: Thanks, Brad. These are good baseline reminders as we review some of the web pages that are out there today. As you mentioned, there's not a right or wrong with a web page, or a patient-facing estimate process, but there are items that may make each website a little more appealing. We pulled different websites from different hospitals, and there are a lot out there, but these are all fairly common examples that we've seen in the marketplace.

This first example provides the patient with a step by step process, it's logically laid out with key buttons, where, first, you select your insurance coverage, whether you're self-pay or insurance coverage. And then you select your service or your category. Once you've completed those two, the last step is really selecting the procedure within that particular service category. It's a straightforward process with each step building on the previous one, and it starts with the insurance information, then ask me to select a category, and then lastly, the procedure. Brad, what's your assessment?

Brad: Yeah, I agree with you Greg on this one. I really like how this is just a very simple three-step process, very easy to follow, and visually, it's very clean.

Greg: Okay, here's another website. This one has a similar step-by-step process that we've incorporated on to one example PowerPoint screen. It starts with an upper left-hand corner, selecting the service and as we do that a more detailed description appears under the category. Again, it's very straightforward, easy to follow with a little more color. Brad, what's your assessment?

Brad: Yeah, this one of the little bit different in that it allows me to search by either service or body part. You can see here on the slide that I chose service, and then once I selected view quote, it actually gave me a new pop-up window with details of what is included, and what is not included with the procedure. I actually found this to be very helpful especially for a patient that maybe hasn't had this procedure done before.

Another aspect that I'd like to point out is the language and the tone use. Look at the text in the upper left, and how that reads, "Your right to know, we want to give you the information you need to make health care decisions including the cost of services." The statement "Your right to know," really speaks to me as a patient and a consumer. And it really makes me believe that this hospital understands my needs as a patient.

All right, let's switch it up now, so this website has a telephone number, and it tells me all the things that are not included in my estimate. Greg your turn, what's your assessment on this one?

Greg: Well, I'm not a millennial. Heck, I have a hard time just pronouncing millennial, but I agree with you there's no color, there's no graphic. It would significantly take more than eight seconds of reading, and there's only a phone number to call. My quick assessment is that this one needs some updating because it really just doesn't meet some of the criteria that we see consumers wanting today.

So we'll switch it up again in this next one is with a payer website. This goes back to our conversation earlier about controlling the price narrative. If you are allowing your patients to shop for price online and they're actually shopping via the insurance provider, which a lot of individuals do and a lot of payers are promoting, and there's a lot of benefit to that. But when that occurs solely, you're giving up control and your ability to control your pricing message, and without that, that opportunity will be lost for you.

You can rely on the payers to provide your quote, but if the estimate's different than what their actual experience is, once the service has been provided, my guess is the patients are likely to view you as having been inaccurate versus the payer. Again it comes back to controlling the price message.

Brad: So this next one I really like, and it's a unique example because of how visual and interactive it is. So on the slides, we have screenshots, so you can't really tell how interactive it really is. But if I actually hover over the body part that I want to select, it highlights it for me, and then I can go ahead and select my service. And then finally, it's very clean and simple to understand in terms of the estimates that they're providing or what my financial responsibility actually is.

Now, this next website follows the common steps to capture the patient contact information, you can see the Remember Me checkbox down there at the bottom. And my favorite part of this example is that I can compare prices across their different facilities, so I can choose what's important to me. Is it proximity in this case just point two miles away is the closest hospital, or is it best price? So if I'm especially price conscious, I might choose to drive a little further to save some money. For any health systems on the call today, this is definitely a key consideration to think about.

So as we walk through the website examples hopefully some of these tips jumped out. Really, the great thing is that all of this technology is available to us to make all of these examples a reality. But it's important for you to keep your patient demographics in mind, and decide what aspects are most important to them in order to provide the most personalized and engaging experience possible.