In a report from InstaMed, 74% of providers have reported that they saw an increase in patient financial responsibility last year. This increase challenges both providers and payers to reexamine payment processes and to focus RCM strategies on patients and their financial responsibilities.
In the 2016 open enrollment period, 12.7 million consumers chose a public or private health exchange program, of which 90% of these individuals chose a plan with a high deductible. These plans have a higher out of pocket costs, and the report estimates that there has been 225% more out of pocket healthcare costs since 2006.
Providers expect to only collect 50% to 70% of their patients’ balances that are due after their visit. In the report, 70% of providers stated that it took a month or more to receive payment from a patient. Half of consumers reported that they felt confused by the medical bill statement, which would arrive later after their visit. They also feel that the statement does not properly explain what they are financially responsible for.
To increase the likeliness of more timely payments from patients, the report suggests that providers should provide more payment methods to serve their patients better by offering their preferred method of payment. In the report, 70% of consumers stated that they preferred an electronic payment method, such as credit cards or eChecks. Paper statements and mailing should be reduced and providers should make the transition away from paper communications to their patients, which can save the industry billions of dollars.
Read the original article from RevCycle Intelligence here.
Download the report from InstaMed here.