Consumers are increasingly shopping to find not only the best healthcare, but also the best price for the services they need. A variety of factors influence the price associated with healthcare. Clinic overhead, target market, location, and insurance all affect pricing. Savvy consumers know this and are willing to take time to shop for convenience and price to find the best deal for the services they need. The also insist on receiving the best care.
The most common way consumers are currently shopping is through calling providers directly. However, a new website Fair Health Consumer has entered the landscape making it easier to price shop online.
Armed with procedure codes and their address, consumers can see cost estimates for services in their area and in nearby areas making it easier to decide where to go for their healthcare needs.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, more consumer-focused shopping sites are likely to pop up due to the growing demand for transparency in pricing.
However, not all healthcare buying decisions are or will be made solely on price. Convenience, reputation of the provider, brand affinity, and quality of service will all likely continue to play a role in the purchase habits of healthcare consumers.