Health care costs can vary widely, which often is criticized as a major problem. The cost of a knee-replacement surgery, for example, can range dramatically from hospital to hospital, and region to region.
But new cars also have drastically different prices, ranging from about $20,000 to well over $150,000 – and consumers don’t seem to have an issue with that variation in cost. So, why is it a problem that health care has big differences in cost?
The difference is in price transparency, explained Phil McKoy, Chief Information Officer at UnitedHealthcare. Consumers know exactly what they’re getting and not getting on the $20,000 and $150,000 cars. Every difference in feature, specification, and detail is spelled out, so they can make an informed choice about the product they’re buying.
“We can’t do that in health care today,” McKoy said during a keynote presentation at the Top of Mind 2020 Summit, organized by the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM). The Summit brings together health system leaders from across the country to discuss top issues in health care raised by the CCM’s Top of Mind research report.
[Top of Mind for Top Health Systems 2021 research report examines shifting innovation priorities in the COVID-19 era]
Patients don’t know what they’re getting for their money when it comes to health care — they only see their premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs rising faster than the rate of inflation.
McKoy, a former Target executive, joined UnitedHealthcare in 2016 and advocates for the retailization of health care by focusing on bringing transparency, simplicity, and control to the consumer experience.
Health care is more complex than retail