Reforming the U.S. Healthcare System: Addressing Price Transparency and Predictability
• The U.S. has a primarily private healthcare system, so those who have the money can purchase healthcare services from any provider.
• The problem with this system is that there is no price transparency; patients don’t know how much they will spend beforehand.
• After services are rendered, health insurance companies and patients must pay for the balance, leading to surprise bills and difficulty for healthcare providers to find qualified staff.
In the United States, healthcare is a concern that is top of mind for many people. With a primarily private healthcare system, those who have the money can purchase healthcare services from any provider they choose. However, there is one major problem with this system: there is no price transparency.
When a patient visits a doctor, they typically hand over their health insurance card and pay a copay. But they have no idea what the copay is or how it works, or what the total cost of their visit will be. Even if they had an idea, the actual cost of the visit is often revealed months later, when the health insurance company has paid out its portion and the patient must pay the balance. This often leads to surprise bills that have yet to be budgeted for.
The impact of this lack of price transparency can also be felt by healthcare providers, as they often have difficulty finding qualified staff due to the lack of predictability. Without knowing how much they will be paid for their services, it is hard for healthcare providers to find and retain qualified staff.
It is clear that something needs to be done in order to address the issues of price transparency and predictability in the U.S. healthcare system. One potential solution is to increase the government’s role in the healthcare system by implementing a sliding scale from total government control to private market healthcare. This would provide a safety net for those who cannot afford healthcare services and ensure that healthcare providers have the predictability they need to provide quality services.
The U.S. healthcare system is in dire need of reform, and it is up to the government to take action in order to ensure that all citizens have access to quality healthcare services. Without price transparency and predictability, the U.S. healthcare system will continue to be a source of stress and worry for many.