The Movement Toward New Collection Strategies
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has decreased the number of uninsured patients; however, the financial responsibility of those insured is on a steady increase (11 percent in 2017.) Healthcare providers need to implement new collection strategies if they want to avoid an increase in bad debt write-offs with the changing climate in healthcare policy.
Eighty-one percent of patients have an annual out-of-pocket deductible that is met before most services are paid. Patients without a yearly deductible face other types of out-of-pocket costs such as copayments or coinsurance (Kaiser Family Foundation: 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey) which have added to the growth of patient responsibilities. The magnitude—a reduction in insured revenue and an increase in patient payments—should be of concern to providers.
Responsive Front-End Solutions Prevent Billing Headaches
The rise of consumerism in healthcare has driven the necessity for change: price transparency legislation, self-service options, and professional contact solution strategies are needed to improve the patient care experience, reduce provider administrative burden, improve clean claim adjudication, and streamline access, utilization, and throughput. As the underinsured patient population grows, providers will need to offer financial education and assistance programs through proactive, efficient, and effective financial screening and patient outreach.
Focus on Deductible Liabilities
Healthcare professionals need responsive front-end solutions that meet them in the 21st-century marketplace. Deductible liabilities make up a substantial portion of a provider's net revenue and are the key driver of the rise in insured bad debt. Effective front-end solutions require a responsive multichannel, on-demand care contact strategy through pre-service financial clearance, enhanced operational structure, skilled resources, and innovative technology.
Consider Proactive Patient Outreach
As self-pay balances have risen the rate of non-payment has followed. Simply sending statement letters on self-pay balances is inadequate and ineffective. Higher balances mean hardship cases are more likely, and your billing office needs to connect with patients with a more personal touch to secure payment. Direct phone calls to patients about their self-balances allows the billing office to collaborate with patients to achieve account resolution either by payment plan or settlement. Proactive outreach on self-pay balances keeps your patients out of collections and preserves the relationship the healthcare provider has built with the patient. If your billing team does not have the bandwidth for an organized patient outreach treatment plan consider The CMI Group's patient pre-collections solution.