Complexities Inherent to Healthcare Price Transparency

By March 14, 2019Uncategorized

In the dialogue on healthcare in the United States, price transparency remains a major issue that has served as the impetus for debate. To understand accurate price transparency, it is essential to be knowledgeable on the difference between cost and charge. Particularly in the perioperative care and anesthesia services setting, this understanding is crucial for realizing how costs of care are computed and subsequently presented to patient populations.

Cost of care broadly refers to the specific expenses that a healthcare system utilizes in order to deliver comprehensive care. The cost of care can either be calculated from a top-down or bottom-up costing method1. In this way, healthcare administrative managers essentially divide the total cost of, for example, an operation into the sum of its parts. Therefore, each subsection can be a resource by detailing the personnel and supplies that are necessary for each stage. In surgical services, this process must include all stages of the perioperative cycle, including pre-operative planning, sterilization and decontamination of needed surgical instruments, and preparation of the anesthesia necessary for the specific operation. Furthermore, the cost for housing a patient in the wards