How increased competition in the healthcare market can have a positive impact on cost
In this latest series of posts, we are taking a look at the potential ramifications of an increase in competition in the healthcare market. More practices and hospitals might sound like a bad thing if you are a healthcare professional, but in this post and those to follow, we’ll look at how competition can actually be a good thing. In this post specifically, let’s look into how competition can actually help to drive down the cost of healthcare, making it more affordable for patient and practitioner alike.
When competition increases in any market, and the healthcare market is no different, companies and organizations need to offer additional value to their customers in order to maintain their loyalty. Value can be offered in various forms from customer service, faster service, a wider array of products or services, etc. But one of the most meaningful values to consumers in today’s economy is cost.
You might be thinking, “How can I cut the cost of my services when the margins are slim to begin with”? You’re right, healthcare is expensive, but innovations in technology, science and services are working to lower the cost to practices and hospitals, meaning that there is a savings that can be passed onto your patients.
How can you cut costs?
The first step to lowering the cost of your services for your patients is to do a self audit, that is, to take complete stock of the products, services, and technology that cost you money, as well as your staff members. (We aren’t going to tell you to fire anyone as a means to lower your costs in this post). By taking stock of all of the items that cost your practice or hospital money, you can then begin to look for other ways of acquiring those things. Let’s take services for example. You might use a linen service, or pay for paper products. When is the last time that you shopped around for a lower cost alternative? If you find two or three service providers that are more affordable, that is one major area where you have saved money. Now that you have lowered the cost for you to stay in business, you can lower prices a bit.
Once more and more practices and hospitals begin to shop around for new services, products, and technology, the providers of those essentials will be forced to look for ways to reduce their costs as well. This demand for lower prices will spark innovations, and together we’ll begin to see the major costs of healthcare, testing equipment and services, diagnostic equipment, etc. will be made more affordable, allowing even more savings to be passed onto the patient at the end of the day.
Insurance is no different. As we wait new changes in healthcare legislation, patients may begin to see more options regarding their healthcare. More options means patients can shop around for a better price in their plans. Insurance providers will be forced to find ways to lower their costs and that means inspiring lower cost for treatments, establishing partnerships to invest in new technologies and innovation and more.
Increased competition in healthcare might be complicated, and even a little daunting at first, but that doesn’t mean it’s a negative. The experts at Main Street Medical offer an affordable way to gain a trained medical billing staff that means better claims processing, increased reimbursements at a faster rate, and the training and technology to gain a better grasp of your revenue cycle. That means you can continue to self audit and track your finances to find new ways to be more agile and save your patients more money without impacting the quality of care that you provide.