3 Benefits of Price Transparency in Healthcare

Black female doctor talking to woman during medical appointment in hospital.The healthcare system is complex, and understanding pricing can feel like deciphering a secret code. Price transparency seeks to demystify this process so members can receive the care they require while avoiding financial hardship. Let’s look at the advantages members experience by using price transparency tools.

Top Benefits of Price Transparency in Healthcare

There are several benefits employees experience when they have the tools to make informed healthcare decisions, including:

No Unexpected Bills

Have you ever received a bill from a provider you don’t remember seeing? If so, you’ve received a “surprise bill,” which likely came from an out-of-network provider. And you’re not alone. According to a 2023 study, 41 percent of insured adults in the US have received a surprise medical bill at some point.

Many people in the US have high-deductible health plans, whereas others must pay for medical expenses out of pocket. Receiving medical bills can increase stress and financial hardship for these populations. 

However, knowing the cost of care upfront can be a tremendous relief. Along with being able to make comparisons while shopping for care, it can enable people to budget for medical expenses, which is critical for those with limited financial resources. 

Improved Quality of Care

Price transparency also brings quality into the mix. Underserved populations often have trouble navigating healthcare and don’t have equal access to high-quality providers. 

Navigation tools can improve the quality of care these populations receive by showing cost and quality information in the same tool and assigning care concierges to help them navigate the complex healthcare system. 

For example, platforms such as Healthcare Bluebook provide cost and quality information in the same solution so members can find lower-cost, higher-quality providers. Informed members can weigh cost and quality information in their decision-making process, which can incentivize providers to deliver care at a Fair Price™ while improving care quality. 

More Affordable Healthcare Services

The cost of the same procedure at the same facility can vary up to 1,000 percent, which can make finding care a daunting process. Price transparency in healthcare removes the stress and anxiety of finding the right care because employees can find a cost-effective alternative for a particular treatment or choose a cheaper facility. This empowers employees to take control of their healthcare expenses without prolonging care due to cost or experiencing financial trouble to have a necessary procedure. 

Research published in March 2024 illustrates the importance of knowing the cost of care and seeking care for health problems. The study analyzed medical debt data from more than 2,000 US counties and found that a 1-percentage point increase in the population with medical debt was tied to 18.3 additional physically unwell days and 17.9 additional mentally unwell days per 1,000 people within 30 days. 

Learn how to choose a healthcare navigation tool that’s right for your company. 

The Key to Helping Employees Find High-Value Care

Healthcare Bluebook introduced the concept of price transparency in healthcare 20 years ago and was founded on the belief that everyone should have access to information about the true quality and cost of healthcare. To help provide this critical information to members, we used our price and quality transparency expertise to create a suite of healthcare navigation tools that assist members with finding high-value care.

For example, our color-coded cost and quality transparency solution makes it easy for members to search for lower-cost, higher-quality providers. Members can search based on procedure, physician, or facility to find care that aligns with their needs, and the green-yellow-red color coding helps them quickly identify the cost and quality of care.

Find a Navigation Solution That’s Right for You

Price transparency solutions have plenty of benefits and are essential to help employees navigate a complex healthcare system. But what do you need to know when sifting through navigation tools to find the ideal one for your organization? 

Get your copy of our free guide, How to Choose a Healthcare Navigation Solution That's Right for Your Organization, to find out what you need to know about choosing healthcare navigation tools.

eBook cover of How to Choose a Healthcare Navigation Solution That's Right for Your Organization