Hospitals are very intimidating places for patients. There’s an underlying fear about why they might be there in the first place, but beyond that, it’s a place full of a language they may not understand, and costs they may not know.

Many patients have questions about the financial costs associated with different procedures, even though there might not be an alternative to a test or surgery. And in some cases, patients are becoming so thrifty that they’re paying close attention to how much these procedures cost—even if they won’t owe anything after insurance.

Now, there are new businesses and technologies that are focusing on helping patients shop around, or at the very least, stay in-network for certain tests. It’s a means of keeping costs low. But that also means that it’s becoming increasingly more important for physicians, nurses, and others in the hospital to answer questions about finances when they come. The answers may not be perfectly clear, but providing a good estimate may be able to help your patients make smarter financial choices, helping you close your revenue cycles more efficiently.

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