- The efforts of one health system to meet state and federal price transparency regulations show the benefit of integrating transparency efforts into a broader organizational strategy.
- Best practices include implementing a formal governance structure to enable agile decision-making around the dissemination of pricing data.
- Hiring a project manager can be helpful for providers with limited staff resources.
For hospitals and health systems, new price transparency regulations present opportunities in addition to compliance challenges.
Specifically, organizations have a chance to assess and adjust strategies pertaining to data management, said Christi Skalka, managing director in the Health Care Practice at Deloitte.
Hospitals should “put together a formal governance structure to facilitate fast, nimble, effective decision-making as it relates to the strategic opportunities and challenges of data being out there,” Skalka said.
The new regulations provide health systems with the opportunity to enhance communications to engage both team members and consumers. Improved data governance also builds a foundation for more strategic use of resources, including vendor partnerships, and for reexamining staffing structures to control costs and enhance the patient experience.
Investment and integration of resources
Hospital preparations to meet the transparency requirements have involved cross-functional coordination and strategic communications. The level and type of investment depend on factors that include price transparency efforts already taking place, staff resources and budget.
For Kettering Health Network, which includes eight hospitals serving southwestern Ohio, previous efforts to comply with state price transparency legislation — enforcement of which has been suspended amid a legal challenge — helped the organization get ready to post the information needed to comply with the new federal requirements. In preparation for the latest rules, the health system leveraged its vendor relationships, invested staff hours and examined current software capabilities.
In addition to working with third-party vendors, “There was a lot of reconciliation, auditing and connecting that our team had to do to validate the accuracy of information,” said Brad Olson, vice president of managed care for revenue management with Kettering.