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Consumers use price transparency tools to financially plan, not shop around
Modern Healthcare

The majority of healthcare consumers use price transparency tools to financially plan, a new survey found, contradicting claims that consumers will shop around for the cheapest providers if they know the price before obtaining care.

The survey, released this week by Accenture, reported that nearly half of consumers, 46%, seek price information to budget for out-of-pocket expenses, while just 11% do it to price compare. Additionally, about 60% of healthcare consumers said they will stick with their provider-of-choice even if they know the costs before obtaining care.

“This study really revealed for providers that the majority of patients are going to go ahead with the service and just want the information,” said Jean-Pierre Stephan, managing director of Accenture. “This is how we in the industry need to think about price transparency, instead of assuming this pricing information is going to result in shopping like other industries, this starts to give an indication that there are other drivers from a consumer perspective.”

Research shows that the biggest reasons consumers select a provider actually have very little to do with costs, Stephan said. Healthcare consumers value convenient locations, in-network service and referrals from their primary-care doctors, family or friends when they select clinicians.

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