This election season, payers, providers must narrow their own trust gap

Healthcare, much like the presidential election, suffers from a “trust gap” between providers and payers, and it must fill that gap to function properly, a healthcare delivery expert writes.

Trust within healthcare, much like care quality, is both essential and difficult to properly mend, Paul Keckley, Ph.D., editor of The Keckley Report, writes for The Healthcare Blog. A recent survey from healthcare marketing firm Revive Health gauged trust between partners within the industry and found numerous red flags.

For example, payers trust healthcare providers far more than providers trust them, further complicating the two sectors’ already fraught relationship. It also found more trust in non-profit providers than investor-owned organizations. Respondents were asked to rank their agreement with three dimensions of trust: the extent to which organizations made an effort to honor commitments, represented itself and its intentions accurately, and balanced its own interests with that of its trading partners without exploiting them.

These problems, however, aren’t irreparable, according to Keckley. A solution “requires parties on all sides to be transparent in business dealings and understand perspectives other than their own. It means negotiations that result in win-win are sought and desire to understand before being understood shared among key leaders,” he writes. “It means objective data is the basis for decision-making, and strongly held opinions lacking facts dismissed.”

The trust gap didn’t develop overnight, Keckley writes, and the solution to it won’t either, but it’s more important than ever as arrangements between payers and providers become the new normal within the industry.

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