Because of recent changes in the healthcare environment, many patients now have high deductible health insurance plans. While these plans come with smaller monthly payments, they have large deductibles the patient must meet before their insurance will begin to pay.
These high deductibles are, in many cases, causing patients to skip medical appointments to avoid costs. For several practices with whom I have spoken, this is resulting in a lower number of patient visits and a corresponding drop in practice revenue.
When insurance companies were paying the majority of the bill, the practice had to prove to the insurance company that all of the elements of the plan of treatment were medically necessary. With the patient now being the person paying a large share of the bill, the problem is considerably different. Now the practice has to prove to the patient that the plan of treatment is economically justifiable and that the cost of treatment can be set up so that the patient can manage the expense.
Top 3 Tips for Practices with High Deductible Patients
The key to managing the high deductible trend is to encourage patients to stay consistent and healthy. Practices can implement a variety of revenue cycle management strategies in order to create an even playing field for those that have high deductibles and those that do not.
1. Educate Your Patients
If you have experienced a drop-off in your patient visits, chances are your patients are trying to avoid costs, but don’t understand their options. Be sure to educate your patients about services that aren’t subject to high deductibles such as preventive services, annual checkups, and some cancer screenings. Then help patients understand that you can help them create payment plans so they can more easily manage their share.
In order to keep patients in the know, practices can use patient portals or event notification systems to send messages to specific populations, such as educational blogs and articles that relate to their health concerns. By being proactive about educating your patients regarding not only the clinical benefits of your services, but being open to discuss financial options, you are more likely to see them come in to stay healthy.
2. Manage your Workflow
If you have seen a decrease in patient visits, you may want to look at ways to change your workflows so that you can increase the profitability of each kind of visit. Lowering the cost of each visit by optimizing who does what for the patient can not only improve patient satisfaction, but improve profitability.
Our workflow management program can help doctors decide what type of procedures and assignments can be easily delegated to staff, allowing your patients an easier disbursement in the end.
3. Be Ready to Collect Balances
Because deductibles are so high, the bottom line can be left unpaid. Practices need to prepare their entire staff to be able to discuss financial options and payment decisions. By preparing your team, you’ll be more likely to collect a payment at the time of service.
Medical Consultants Group offers a simple, innovative way to manage patient balances and revenue for your practice. Exchange EDI software will help your staff be able to tackle the topic of payment in a straightforward manner. Our consultants are happy to educate your team on strategies to be sure that you receive payment from those high deductible patients.
How Medical Consultant’s Group Can Assist Your Practice
The Medical Consultants Group is ready to help your practice counter high deductible plans with educated systems that are proven to work. Making sure that your patients stay happy and healthy should be your priority and we can provide you with some very nice tools to get the job done.
To contact the Medical Consultants Group about revenue cycle management solutions for your Atlanta practice, call (404) 272- 4883 to schedule a free consultation.