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Busta the Cycle

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Busta the Price Transparency Cycle.

What’s going on?
As consumers struggle to manage rising healthcare costs amid their inflated everyday expenses, there seems to be a shimmy of hope on the horizon.

According to the most recent semi-annual report by Patient Rights Advocate, only 36% of hospitals in America are compliant with the 2021 Hospital Price Transparency Rule (which requires hospitals to post their pricing information online). 58% of consumers have tried to obtain out-of-pocket cost info before receiving care and 2 in 5 said it was difficult or inaccurate. It’s no wonder that the SPM Consumer Compass® found that 54% of Americans are worried about being able to pay for their healthcare expenses.

A new bipartisan bill recently brought to Congress — Lower Costs, More Transparency — would strengthen the current policy. It would require hospitals and healthcare systems, insurance companies, labs, imaging providers, and ambulatory surgical centers to publicly list the prices they would charge patients for all available services. It would also require health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to make known available drug rebates and discounts. The bill also aims to expand access and availability of generic drugs to lower overall drug costs.

While almost 79% of voters support this type of legislation, the new bill only has a 13% chance of getting passed. Legendary hip hop artists Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, French Montana, and Chuck D joined together for a PSA for Power to the Patients to increase those odds. The non-profit patient rights advocacy organization’s campaign nods to the 50th anniversary of hip hop and the new movement they’re leading for more honest, affordable, and equitable healthcare for all.

What's The Squeeze?
Continuing its legacy as a catalyst for social change, hip hop culture is now leveraging its influential voice and unwavering commitment to justice to shine a spotlight on disparities in the healthcare system.

The Power to the Patients PSA sheds light on the profound impact of the federal law’s non-enforcement, revealing its far-reaching consequences beyond Americans’ finances. It underscores how this neglect also jeopardizes health and lives, with those facing the greatest disparities often feeling too fearful to even seek out medical care. Not only is this “an American humanitarian crisis,” but it no diggity is a concern for healthcare brands as well. Here are three compelling reasons to respond:

  1. Improve the experience: One of the top trends we’ve been monitoring in 2023 is consumers’ desire for their healthcare experiences to be as simple as what they expect from retailers. Transparency is a key component of that. Consumers want to know what medical procedures cost and why, but 69% of those surveyed by the SPM Consumer Compass® believe there’s no easy way to find out about the prices hospitals charge for their services.

  2. Rebuild trust: Monigle’s Humanizing Brand Experience Vol 6 reported that distrust in healthcare providers is growing. They identified self-care (empowerment to manage health independently with the information and resources needed to do so) as the #2 attribute most correlated with organizational trust.

  3. Walk the talk: Ensure that your hospital’s website is acting in accordance with the Hospital Price Transparency Rule (and your brand’s mission!) by disclosing all standard charge information. If a hospital does not post its pricing, consumers can submit a complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services and the aforementioned resources make it easy for them to do so.

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