It adopts an inter-disciplinary approach from the marketing, economics and accounting literature. The paper explores market transparency in the ever-changing world and uses brand names like Starbucks and iPhone to illuminate instances where imperfect markets are supported by consumers. As we moved into implementation, the company devoted fewer resources to divining what their competitors were charging and more time to quantifying their own relative value and setting prices accordingly. Price transparency neutralized uncertainty, which is often the biggest barrier to sustainable, confident price management. We helped them to align pricing and value communication across channels, and map list prices across multiple product lines, regions, and segments. We also helped them manage the complexity which results globally when you take foreign exchange, freight, and duties into account.

Nearly 88 percent of Americans believe the government should require hospitals and insurers to disclose prices. Transparency in healthcare costs is especially important for those with high deductible health plans or those who do not have insurance. Healthcare price transparency refers to readily available information on the price of healthcare services to enable patients to compare providers and better predict their healthcare costs. In recent years, healthcare price transparency has become a national priority to help spur competition between providers and drive down costs while improving the quality of care.

Commentary: is cost transparency necessarily good for consumers?

Utilizing your cost information can also facilitate dialogue and collaboration with stakeholders. “Do we really think that nearly every American hospital is in compliance? … Cash-strapped patients need to be able to compare prices and decide where to get care.” For instance, on the Everlane website, a men’s parka selling for $165 shows costs of $27.79 for materials, $5.64 for hardware (such as zippers), $22.26 for labor, $3.95 for customs duties and $5 for transportation.

Why is IT cost transparency needed

By putting things into terms for even non-IT leaders to be able to understand and analyze, the business can start to put plans into place on what makes sense and what does not. What this means is that the numbers from the analysis and asset baseline must be understandable in order for action to occur. By expressing facts in ways that decision makers can understand, IT costs and systems can be properly identified along with the value they provide the business. This information will make it easier for consumers to shop and compare prices across hospitals and estimate the cost of care before going to the hospital.

The Challenge of Understanding Health Care Costs and Charges

There are multiple factors that must be considered when moving towards IT cost transparency and it is necessary for organizations to be properly informed of the main elements involved. Even if they do not ultimately choose you as their provider, they will have good things to say about you and be that great referral source as time goes on. Consumers want to feel empowered with enough information to make an informed decision.

Why is IT cost transparency needed

To truly understand cost transparency and the enormous value it offers to an organisation, it is worth taking a deeper dive into what makes up each of these six pillars, and how they are individually and collectively able to deliver value to the enterprise. These six pillars outlined by Gartner, when implemented it cost transparency properly, will enable CIOs to run IT as a business and provide the financial transparency needed to optimise cost and value. Patients with the most serious illnesses might not be well positioned to benefit from price transparency, as the burden of comparison shopping falls to ill patients or their loved ones.


When we speak of “IT assets”, we mean server, software, workstations, and other related terms. If you want the costs to be transparent, it is crucial that the baseline is accurate and represents the sum of all the involved assets. It is not very difficult to do, but it might take some time before you get a precise number. When considering this pillar, it is crucial that the enterprise clarifies its charter and mandate, aligns its objectives with its business goals, and then selects the right approach for the business. In turn, the IT organisation must understand all the chargeback options that might apply and help the business units to understand these options.

Why is IT cost transparency needed

In addition, patients covered by insurance rarely pay hospitals’ published list prices. While average list prices can be used by payers to distinguish high-cost from low-cost providers for specific services, patients pay a combination of insurer-negotiated rates, deductibles, and copayments or coinsurance. In theory, price transparency — in addition to access to information about quality — enables patients to shop for the most effective, lowest-cost health care available. This promise of cost control through consumer empowerment has made transparency a popular goal among policymakers on the right and left. Health insurance plans in the individual and group marketplace will be required to provide an initial list of 500 shoppable healthcare services via an internet-based self-service tool beginning January 1, 2023.

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It also enables those people responsible for specific areas of the business to understand which costs they are able to control, as well as which levers they can pull to effect changes in these. Once they do, it enables them to utilise assets efficiently and show accurate profit margins. It provides actionable insights that will drive business transformation and future growth. The purpose of this paper is to present a critical viewpoint on the negative aspects of market, price and cost transparencies to consumers in terms of its costs.

I remember, in a previous job of mine selling commodities, there were typically two types of potential customers, ‘loyal’ and ‘penny pinchers’. Making your website stand out is crucial in today’s digital age where competition is fierce. By implementing the tips and techniques mentioned in this article, you can create a website that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also provides an exceptional user experience. However, there are solutions available that can help hospitals avoid fines and quickly comply with the new rule.

Room for Improvement in Transparency

Recognizing the role that the Internet plays in promoting price transparency, it espouses how extant information can add costs and risks to the consumer’s value judgement. Finally, the paper advocates that arbitrary judgements existing in cost accounting make it difficult to compare unit cost. This could result in consumers paying extra money to benefit from cost transparency.

  • As a result, the “shoppable” services list may not reflect additional sizable charges that could accrue, and 55 percent of hospitals nationwide are compliant with the Hospital Price Transparency requirements.
  • Yet even if the costs don’t seem allocated in an ideal way from the customer’s point of view, the customer still applauds the company’s willingness to share its production expenses.
  • Further, there are multiple reasons why hospital price transparency is unlikely to have substantial effects on selection by patients.
  • Your focus is on helping the customer to make a purchase and not you trying to make a sale.
  • This is a major shortcoming of government price transparency initiatives, which do not reflect what insured patients will have to pay.

Erika Rasure is globally-recognized as a leading consumer economics subject matter expert, researcher, and educator. She is a financial therapist and transformational coach, with a special interest in helping women learn how to invest. Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader.

How Might Patients and Physicians Use Transparent Health Care Prices to Guide Decisions and Improve Health Care Affordability?

That’s because transparency gives enough of a competitive edge that either company risks the loss of market share and lower profit margins if it keeps costs hidden. Transparency is unlikely to have a marked effect on hospital selection by patients for several reasons. First, hospital care is complex, and patients often do not know what condition they have or what services they need—and they rely on physicians to tell them. In emergency settings the ambulance typically chooses the nearest facility, while in elective settings patients usually select a physician, whose admitting privileges determines hospital choice. Third, information about quality remains limited and conflicting, with the results and recommendations dependent on which Web site one chooses to search. Finally, there are often few hospital providers in a local market, limiting the scope of choice.