11 May Why are Healthcare Prices So High?

On Wednesday, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Peterson Center on Healthcare held a forum focused on healthcare prices. Data shows that prices for healthcare in the United States are far steeper than prices in other countries. Unfortunately, there is not a parallel relationship between our high prices and our clinical outcomes, with other countries often faring better, and at a lower cost.

Peterson and Kaiser released video of the event via the Health System Tracker website. Some of the videos are a bit lengthy (the first one is more brief), but it’s an interesting and important discussion they’ve facilitated and highlighted. It’s estimated that anywhere between 15% – 30% of the overall spend on healthcare in the US is related to administrative costs. This hits home for us as a revenue cycle management company. Although we have very efficient processes in place that enable us to cut down a bit on the administrative burden, there is still a tremendous amount of work that goes into the billing process, which accounts for only part of the referenced administrative costs. Reducing the amount of time and effort spent on this activity often results in reduced reimbursement for physicians.

We don’t yet have answers to these complex questions, but we’re happy to see the conversation is happening.

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