I want information about costs AND quality
I’ve been thinking about this push from e-Patient Dave to redefine and rename “transparency.”
“If I mention ‘transparency’ to people in my community,” says Dave, “most have no idea what I mean. But when I say ‘We need to see what things cost – and nobody can tell us,’ everybody does see what a problem that is.”
And so, says Dave, what we need is “Visible prices, please. Before we make our purchase decisions.”
OK – no disagreement. Transparency is one of those wallpaper words. Everyone uses it; but it feels plastic. And, I strongly agree that we can’t make wise spending decisions about where to go for care if we have no idea how much anything costs.
But cost is only part of what we, patients, need to see in clear, user-friendly terms.
The other critical factor in choosing where to go for care is QUALITY. Which doctor or hospital will give me the best results after knee surgery or the best chance of catching problems through a colonoscopy or the best normal delivery?
I don’t think any of us want to get to the point where we are buying care based on price alone. So transparency, or whatever we call it, has to help us decide where to get the best care at the lowest price. So Dave – what do we call that? Don’t say “value.” Anyone?