Hospitals must teach patients about healthcare finance

Do hospitals have an obligation to teach their patients about healthcare finance? Yes, says Ginalisa Monterroso, chief executive officer of the Medicaid Advisory Group.

"All healthcare facilities should have an education component," Monterroso told RevCycle Intelligence. "Hospitals are losing money. Everybody's walking in with the wrong insurance. Everybody's walking in with the wrong drug coverage. What the executives are missing internally is that education component."

Monterosso called on hospital and healthcare system CFOs to think outside the box and listen to patients. By providing information to patients, hospitals will likely get return patients and the organizations will get paid for the service, she said. 

Other reporting on the issue leads to similar conclusions. Individual providers say they want to discuss prices upfront with patients, but they often encounter obstacles--such as obtaining clear pricing information on their behalf. And even in Massachusetts, which has mandated price transparency, patients often experience significant delays and other burdens in finding prices.

And were patients able to shop around for care, they run the risk of obtaining lower-priced care that is also of lower quality than what they might have received otherwise.

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