Consumers say they are willing to pay more for healthcare services based on these factors, survey finds

Quality of care, care team choice, location and speed all play a role in how much consumers are willing to spend on their healthcare, according to new survey responses from more than 2,000 American adults.

Fifty-seven percent of those polled in mid-March said they would be willing to pay more based on the quality of care they would receive, according to the survey commissioned by revenue cycle and automation vendor AKASA.

Forty-seven percent said that having the ability to work with their chosen care team would impact their willingness to pay, and 41% said the same for having the hospital of their choice. Location proximity or convenience was a price factor for 41% of respondents, while the ability to get appointments quickly moved the needle for 40%, AKASA said.

Most consumers also said they had limits to how far they would be willing to journey for the best medical care prices.

Assuming equivalent care quality, 51% of respondents said they would travel 10 to 20 miles for a better price while another 31% would go as far as 50 miles, according to the survey data. Thirteen percent more said they’d be willing to travel up to 100 miles for cheaper care, 2% up to 200 miles and 3% up to 400 miles.

AKASA’s survey was conducted online by market research firm YouGov, which included a total sample of 2,026 adults weighted to be representative of the country’s adult population.

Of note, just 721 of those polled said they had ever attempted to look up healthcare prices when seeking care or services.

“The findings can help healthcare leaders prioritize what to focus on when thinking about their bottom lines through the lens of what patients are willing to pay for and aligning it with improving the patient experience,” Amy Raymond, vice president of revenue cycle operations at AKASA, said in a statement accompanying the survey data.

With medical bills a leading weight on many Americans’ financial stability, healthcare prices have been center stage for policymakers for some time. Hospitals were instructed to begin publicly posting prices for hundreds of common services in patient-friendly formats in an effort to help patients shop for cheaper care, although reports suggest awareness of and compliance with the transparency requirements have been lacking.

Still, healthcare spending and prices have been slow to grow in comparison to the broader economy’s inflation spike—although that could change as public and private payers begin to lock in their annual rate adjustments.