While the surging popularity of high-deductible plans is a positive sign which indicates that more patients are taking financial responsibility for their healthcare, this change should concern healthcare providers as it brings along some adverse effects. On the surface, the increasing consumer interest in HDHPs seems to be a good thing for the healthcare industry at large, but when you take a closer look, you will discover that these plans are just increasing patients’ financial burden.
The HDPs can have some detrimental effects on the part of hospitals and other healthcare providers, and it is up to them to find new means of lowering the health care deductible costs or else they lose out to facilities that offer affordable rates. Here are a few strategies that healthcare provides can use to combat higher healthcare deductibles.
1. Offer Accurate Cost Information
A study by the Journal of the American College of Radiology (https://www.jacr.org/article/S1546-1440 (18)31289-4/fulltext), indicated that most of the quotes provided by medical institutions are inflated or overpriced. This leaves patients with substantial financial burdens, and they are left with no other option but to shop around for healthcare facilities that offer affordable services. The first step to lowering health care deductibles is ensuring that the price quotes for services provided by healthcare facilities are accurate and they reflect the real value delivered.
2. Communicating with Patients
Initiating a meaningful discourse with a patient from the beginning of treatment can help you reach an agreement about simplified payment plans. Communication can help patients do better budgeting and also help hospitals to forecast instances of bad debts. Discussions regarding treatment, healthcare decisions, and coverage options can result in customer satisfaction and help providers collect partial or whole payments without much of a struggle.
3. Speak to A Health Insurer
Healthcare representatives who receive calls from patients seeking information about prices for various services can direct them to a health insurer for estimations. Before settling for a particular healthcare provider, patients can inquire about the costs of a given service based on the money the insurer would pay if the deductibles were fully covered. However, the most daunting task is to get a real insurance representative on call, leave alone getting information from them.
4. Provide Incentives
Healthcare providers can set up guidelines based on the patient’s financial situation and determine if they can qualify for income-based reductions, as well as figure out if they are eligible for the various the incentives they are offering. The more you understand about your patient’s healthcare plan, the more likely you can establish a solid collection plan and budget for discounts, incentives, and assistance.
With the new challenges that the HDHPs are imposing on the healthcare institutions, it is imperative that providers focus their attention on ensuring that patients are charged fairly if they want to curb cases of defaulting. Additionally, they should be aware of the shifting demographics when it comes to insurance plans, as well as pay attention to various variables that can help provide lax payment options and alluring incentives.