Louisville Medicine Volume 65, Issue 11 - Page 9

(continued from page 5) vagueness of health care pricing. cost calculators, but other available appli- cations include MyMedicalShopper, MD- save, Amino, and Fair Health just to name a few. The applications vary in their offer- ings but can be a valuable tool for patient shopping. The market for new applications is growing quickly. These applications can also be a critical source for providers to better understand their own pricing deci- sions. Even though the tools can be useful, they are seldom used by patients even when provided. The reasons appear to be that the cost burdens of health care are still tolerable, patients trust their physician’s recommen- dations more than the tool , and the pricing tools are still not able to deal with all the Price transparency is a difficult issue because of the various payment models, vast differences between charges and col- lections, patient attitudes to cost, and the various competing interests of stakeholders. Regardless of what they do with it, law- makers and patients want the information. Providers need to take a close look at their own pricing, specifically at those services that could be considered “shoppable.” These services are elective, available from multiple providers in the same geographic location and are typically thought of as commodities. The provider should not necessarily try to achieve the lowest cost but understand the true value posting to the customer. This may change based on provider’s brand names, but should be incorporated into their stra- tegic decisions and their understanding of the market. With growing concerns of price transparency by consumers, providers will need to take a close look at their cost, their position in the market and their overall market strategy. It remains to be seen if this really lowers cost, but it will almost certainly make providers better understand their own pricing. Dr. Zaring is an anatomic and clinical patholo- gist with Louisville Pathology Associates and practices at Jewish Hospital. STAY facebook.com/Greater-Louisville-Medical-Society with GLMS between publications www.glms.org @LouMedSociety Contact McKenna.Byerley@glms.org for more information @LouMedSociety linkedin.com/groups/Greater-Louisville-Medical-Society APRIL 2018 7