|By Marketwired .||
|June 23, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 06/23/14 -- A TransUnion Healthcare national survey of insured consumers found that two-thirds of Americans report being consistently surprised by their medical bills. This could be due to the fact that, according the survey, only 25% of patients are being offered pre-treatment cost estimates from their providers, despite evidence that demand for such information is growing.
This survey is the fourth in a series of TransUnion Healthcare reports that examine patient billing experiences as the healthcare system is transformed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other market dynamics.
The rise in consumer cost awareness extends beyond out-of-pocket costs such as premiums, co-pays and co-insurance payments. Two-thirds (63%) of survey respondents reported that they wanted to know the full cost of care, including their insurance company's portion, while just one-third (37%) said they only cared about the costs they are directly responsible for paying.
"Today's cost-aware consumer has a greater expectation that providers will offer upfront cost estimates and timely and accurate post-treatment bills. With consumers placing more emphasis on billing and payment when evaluating quality of care, it's imperative that providers have the technology and processes to meet this consumer demand," said Dave Wojczynski, senior vice president of TransUnion Healthcare.
While consumers are seeking out more information about costs, more than half (54%) reported they were either sometimes or always confused by bills and 62% were either sometimes or always surprised by out-of-pocket costs. As a result, Americans are beginning to see the value of front-end cost estimates as a critical tool to improve their ability to manage costs. In fact, the survey found more than 80% of respondents stated that receiving pre-treatment cost estimates and pre-treatment insurance coverage estimates would be either "helpful" or "extremely helpful" in managing medical costs.
"Our survey results shed light on the fact that patients are more attuned to healthcare costs and billing experiences as they take a more active role in evaluating and selecting their healthcare options," said Wojczynski. "Front-end solutions that provide upfront cost estimates, and back-end solutions that deliver accurate bills, will be critical as consumers continue to link their billing experience to quality of care. Accurate, timely and transparent cost information will help improve overall patient satisfaction and will increase return visits to providers."
In addition to helping consumers manage their healthcare costs, cost transparency and upfront cost estimates can help improve overall consumer perception of their quality of care, and as a result, influence consumers' decisions whether to continue using a provider.
- The survey found that nearly 80%of patients who gave high ratings to their quality of care over the past year also said their billing and payment experiences were usually positive.
- At the same time, nearly 85% of patients who gave poor ratings for quality of care also gave poor ratings for their billing and payment experiences.
"For the third consecutive year, our survey found a correlation between patients' perception of care quality, and medical cost transparency and billing accuracy," added Wojczynski. "One strategy to improve patient billing experiences is for providers to offer front-end cost estimates."
Survey findings show how much of an impact front-end cost estimates could have on patient experience.
- More than eight in 10 Americans (84%) reported that front-end cost estimates would have either a somewhat positive (37%) or very positive impact (47%) on their decision to continue using a provider.
- Patients value upfront cost estimates nearly as much as other clinical factors in their decision making, including outstanding bedside manner (86%); prompt test results (89%); and accurate diagnoses (90%).
- Despite this strong consumer demand, few survey respondents have received upfront cost estimates over the past year, and even fewer report having received them without asking. Only 12% of Americans found it "very easy" to get cost information before receiving medical care and nearly half of Americans (48%) said it was either "somewhat difficult" (28%) or "very difficult" (20%).
Healthcare Cost and Billing Experiences Differ by State
While TransUnion's surveys have shown a consistent national trend towards greater consumer interest in the details of healthcare costs and growing demand for front-end cost estimates, the results revealed that this trend is moving at different speeds and is driven by different factors in each state.
Patients in the five states that have passed legislation to improve and encourage healthcare cost transparency -- Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Virginia -- are no more likely than those in other states to have asked for or received front-end cost estimates.
- On average, patients in these five states asked for front-end cost estimates at a lower rate (32%) than the overall national rate (37%), and none of the five states were among the top 10 states in which patients reported that it was easy to find the cost information before receiving treatment.
While concerns about costs are increasing nationally, there is a noticeable difference between large and small states.
- In smaller states, particularly those in the west, the trend is more pronounced. In Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and other western and mountain states, more than 60%of consumers reported an increase in concern over healthcare costs.
In many large states -- such as New York, California, Florida, and Texas -- less than 50% of consumers reported an increase in concern over health costs in light of reform implementation. In smaller states, patients were more likely to report that they had poor or mediocre experiences with billing and payment. In fact, in states with a population in the bottom third of the 50 states, poor ratings for billing and payment experience were reported at twice the rate they were in the larger states.
These size-related differences were also apparent in consumers' experiences with front-end cost estimates and the ease of getting pre-treatment information.
- In larger states, consumers were far more likely to report that it was easy or somewhat easy to find healthcare cost information before receiving treatment.
- In states with populations in the top third of U.S. states, an average of 35% of respondents reported that it was easy to find pre-treatment cost information, and it was even higher in the largest states, including California (48%) and New York (40%).
- At the same time, in some of the least populous states -- Vermont, Maine, New Mexico, and Idaho -- less than 20% of consumers reported that it was easy for them to find this information.
About the Survey
The online survey included responses from 7,407 insured household decision-makers who had either personally received medical care, or had a family member on their policy receive care in the past two years. Respondents included a representative sample in each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The survey took place from May 1 - June 1, 2014.
The survey sample was proportionally distributed among types of insurance plans. Specifically:
- Employer-sponsored health insurance made up 54% of the sample compared to the actual U.S. Census figure of 55%
- Individual plans made up 12% compared to the 2012 Census figure of 9.8%
- Medicare accounted for 18% compared to the Census figure of 16%
- VA/military health plans accounted for 4%, in line with the 2012 Census figure of 4%
- Medicaid accounted for 9% compared to the Census figure of 16%
For more information about the survey, please visit: transunioninsights.com/healthcarecostsurvey
TransUnion Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of credit and information management company TransUnion, empowers providers with Intelligence in an Instant® by providing data and analytics at the point of need. TransUnion offers a series of data solutions designed to provide greater ease of use, accuracy and transparency in the revenue cycle process thereby assisting providers in lowering their uncompensated care. www.transunionhealthcare.com
As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in 33 countries around the world on five continents. www.transunion.com/business
Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2622950
E-mail Email Contact
Telephone (312) 972 6646
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
Nov. 23, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,280
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,561
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Nov. 23, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,246
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
Nov. 23, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,366
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,415
We are all here because we are sold on the transformative promise of The Cloud. But what good is all of this ephemeral, on-demand infrastructure if your usage doesn't actually improve the agility and speed of your business? How must Operations adapt in order to avoid stifling your Cloud initiative? In his session at DevOps Summit, Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the DTO Solutions, will highlight the successful organizational, process, and tooling patterns of high-performing c...
Nov. 23, 2014 02:00 AM EST Reads: 1,141
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Nov. 22, 2014 10:00 PM EST Reads: 1,252
Software-driven innovation is becoming a primary approach to how businesses create and deliver new value to customers. A survey of 400 business and IT executives by the IBM Institute for Business Value showed businesses that are more effective at software delivery are also more profitable than their peers nearly 70 percent of the time (1). DevOps provides a way for businesses to remain competitive, applying lean and agile principles to software development to speed the delivery of software that ...
Nov. 22, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,487
Docker offers a new, lightweight approach to application portability. Applications are shipped using a common container format and managed with a high-level API. Their processes run within isolated namespaces that abstract the operating environment independently of the distribution, versions, network setup, and other details of this environment. This "containerization" has often been nicknamed "the new virtualization." But containers are more than lightweight virtual machines. Beyond their small...
Nov. 22, 2014 06:45 PM EST Reads: 1,277
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,400
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,225
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
Nov. 21, 2014 09:15 PM EST Reads: 1,312
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the ...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,392