When it comes to dealing with the costs of care, people are in sore need of radically simpler, elegant, and dare we say delightful experiences.
At KP, our members experience integrated care and fragmented finances. Our Primary Care is a dynamic and investigatory setting. It’s the hub for each of our 12+ million members that connects to labs, imaging, pharmacy, and specialty care.
In contrast, the financial experience often leaves members worried about costs, frustrated by a surprise bill, concerned about the cost of a flu shot, or delaying care. Care teams face daily questions about potential costs but feel unsuited to help. Our team was asked to help illustrate the future of KP’s financial experience.
How might we help members navigate out-of-pocket costs of an adult primary care visit?
Our team explored this question through in-clinic observations, rapid prototyping, and interviews with members, staff and providers. Project $ense was chartered to illustrate new ways to transform the primary care cost experience.
Vlog from the Field
The cost of a primary care office visit can range from $60-220 depending on what “level of service” is provided. This paper prototype embraces radical transparency, shedding light on how visit cost is determined.
We texted members before scheduled radiology appointments with estimated out-of-pocket costs of $100 or less. These prototypes helped us think through different notification styles, 160-character-friendly cost descriptions, and the realities of safe, PHI-free communication.
What cost information is helpful for members before a primary care visit takes place? Our current tools are either too vague or too specific, leading to member confusion and mistrust. We created 40+ personalized guides to learn more about actionable cost information and when/how/why to share it.
To build on our pre-visit cost guidance, we built post-visit cost summaries. Offering a refreshed estimate after the visit builds trust and provides closure.
Financial Counselors often lack contextual information about care decisions when members reach out for help. What happens when we provide staff and members the chance to connect with financial counselors in person as questions come up before, during, and immediately after a visit?
Sometimes Primary Care medical needs are straightforward. Providers identified topics like birth control, immunizations, back pain, and depression as having a clear evidence-based care plan. This prototype pairs care and cost information for common topics.
One primary care provider described his job as "building an executable care plan with my patients." This EMR prototype explores if cost information can enhance a provider's ability to build an executable care plan.