Welcome!

News Feed Item

TransUnion Survey: Providers Fall Short of Meeting Growing Patient Demand for Greater Healthcare Cost Transparency

National Survey of Nearly 7,500 Consumers Finds State Healthcare Experiences Differ

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
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

About TransUnion
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

Contact
Dave Blumberg
TransUnion
E-mail Email Contact
Telephone (312) 972 6646

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.