Better shop around? Majority of Americans aren’t, healthcare-wise

Oct. 5, 2022

AKASA, a developer of AI for healthcare operations, released findings from a new survey conducted on its behalf by YouGov, which highlights how patients often do not shop around for healthcare service pricing because they are unaware of publicly available pricing information or do not believe there is competition in healthcare because of limited transparency.

Respondents were asked: “Have you ever tried looking for prices for care or services needed?” The survey of more than 2000 Americans found 64% have never sought out pricing for healthcare services.

When looking deeper into the data, younger adults (18-34) tend to be more likely to research prices (45%) for healthcare services vs. older adults 55+ (27%). Additionally, patients with high-deductible health plans (41%) and individual plans (43%) are more motivated to research healthcare pricing information than other groups.

Additionally, respondents were asked: “Would knowing the price of care or services ahead of time encourage you to shop around?” The survey found 58% of Americans would be encouraged to shop around if pricing information was disclosed before necessary healthcare procedures and services.

“There’s clearly a gap between what many healthcare organizations - providers and insurance companies - think helps increase price transparency and the experience of patients in finding price information conveniently and in a manner that is easy to understand,” said Amy Raymond, VP of revenue cycle operations at AKASA. “This is a deterrent for patients in seeking out the best price like they would in any other industry, which can be incredibly frustrating,” said Amy Raymond, VP of revenue cycle operations at AKASA.

“Patients want the same modern experiences they get from other industries,” said Raymond. “But healthcare organizations aren't always equipped for such transformation. A positive patient experience starts with the revenue cycle and a seamless front end. Investing in technologies like automation, patient payment portals and streamlined appointment scheduling can help providers engage patients and payers to improve on a number of fronts: enhancing the overall patient experience to be more consumer-friendly, ensuring appropriate reimbursement by managing prior authorizations more effectively and calculating patient out-of-pocket costs more accurately.”

The YouGov survey, commissioned by AKASA, fielded responses from 2,026 Americans between March 9–14, 2022. The online survey was conducted at a confidence level of 95% and results for the total sample have a margin of error of +/- 2.18%, while results among those who have sought prices for healthcare services have a margin of error of +/-3.65%. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults 18 and older.

Survey Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2026 adults, of whom 721 confirmed having ever tried to look for prices for care or services needed. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th–14th March 2022.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).

AKASA release