Obamacare is currently receiving a hefty amount of criticism throughout the country, with much of the melee surrounding the release of the new health care exchange and the technological issues that continue to arise from it.But even though the roll-out of the health care law has been anything but seamless, hospitals and surgery centers in the U.S. are finding they are faced with the reality that lower-cost insurance coverage with higher deductibles is likely to be the coverage of choice for a large cross-section of the country in the very near future.
A recent study implies that of those who are insured, one in five are likely to have problems paying their medical bills. But those percentages are expected to increase as more employees also turn to high deductible plans because many employers have shifted more health care insurance costs onto their employees. This shift is likely to result in employees choosing plans with higher deductibles to reduce their monthly expenses.
Knowing what current studies now suggest, revenue cycle professionals should expect that about 20 percent of their patients will experience issues in paying for their medical bills. Maintaining a financially healthy hospital or medical practice will logically rely on the expertise of the medical center’s collection department or collection vendor and their effectiveness at collecting patient revenue in a timely manner.
To continue to remain financially sound, a medical center should strive to be as proactive as possible by reaching out to the patient shortly after treatment. Additionally, a provider should also choose solutions that allow them to screen patients regarding their ability to pay for services.
Patient predictive payment tools are not designed to be used to prevent patients with lower scores from gaining access to health care. However, by estimating the patient’s likelihood of paying their bill, the facility is better equipped to direct the patient toward mutually beneficial payment options.
“An array of payment options for the patient to choose from is extremely important for the financial health of a provider,” said Mnet Financial CEO David Hamilton. “Fortunately, the reality is that most patients have the ability to pay something toward their services, so it’s likely that we will have a viable solution to get the patient’s medical debt resolved,” said Hamilton.
Credit based health care financing, payment plan management systems, and call center accessibility are all important tools available to the health care provider of today. “At Mnet Financial, our MedDraft payment plan system secures a payment contract with the patient prior to service so the bill gets paid,” said Hamilton. “And if the patient defaults on their pay plan contract, the account is then forwarded to Mnet’s collection department to help get the patient back on track,” Hamilton said.
While it appears certain that the high cost of health insurance as well as new health care legislation will eventually cause self-pay portions of patient’s medical bills to rise, many options are still available to health care providers. By making proper use of the tools made available by a reputable financial services and collection vendor, providers can continue to thrive.