Proactively Providing Financial Assistance to Help Patients Manage Costs
Most patients are actively seeking to manage their healthcare costs and needs. Patients understand the importance and gravity of maintaining control of their finances and often seek to discuss financial options prior to receiving treatment or procedures. However, despite their best efforts, many patients still require support from health systems and providers to successfully pay off bills and attain financial health.
Meeting Your Patients Where They Live
For your teams to build strong patient relationships while enabling full repayment, it’s crucial for them to be proactive in recognizing your patient’s financial situations. Not all healthcare consumers are created equally, nor do they interact with health systems in the same way. Each of your patients have their own individual concerns and will require your team to identify challenges and obstacles to resolving their financial concerns.
In our most recent survey, our team identified the four most common frustrations regarding healthcare billing.
1. Confusion Over the Portion of the Bill that Health Insurance Will Cover
Easily the most cited concern with over 41% of patients agreeing, confusion over insurance responsibilities is a major concern for patients. Without knowing the total obligation of their insurer, patients cannot view the exact cost of their treatment, making repayment difficult and confusing.
In cases where it’s not clear where financial obligations lie, work with the patient to gain all possible information from insurance companies to understand their financial liabilities. When possible, take on communication tasks to reduce the overall administrative burden from your patients. Your patients are much more likely to both seek care and pay off their bills when they’re given an accurate and transparent estimate of the cost of treatment.
2. Lack of Affordable Monthly Payment Plans
Our survey highlighted the need to offer patients affordable long-term payment plans. With many patients in high deductible health plans, and 49% of Americans concerned about their ability to pay a healthcare bill of less than $1,000, patients are seeking help. Strive to create solutions that match your consumer’s ability to pay.
This can mean offering plans with either 0% interest rates or low interest rates with a longer term to reduce monthly payment amounts. Not all patients can afford the monthly payment associated with a 0% interest plan. Give patients the ability to switch to a longer term if they need payment flexibility as life events change their financial situation.
3. Inability to Combine Healthcare Bills from the Same Hospital or System
Patients would like to consolidate bills from within the same health system into one monthly payment. Consolidation can be helpful for consumers in reducing the administrative burden of paying bills, as well as helping to capture all bills under a single interest rate or payment schedule.
Giving consumers the ability to consolidate bills within a single payment plan will simplify payment and communication workflows, and help encourage repayment from patients.
4. Helping Patients Manage Costs with Provider-Driven Solutions
Your patients and consumers want to repay their bills and protect their financial health, but at times they need assistance and help from their providers and health systems. Proactively working with your patients to manage costs before, and after treatment is received, will help your revenue teams increase revenue, reduce bad debt and improve the patient financial experience.
At AccessOne, we believe that when providers provide equitable and innovative financial solutions through third-party patient financing, that they’re better positioned to improve both their financial health, as well as patient satisfaction and loyalty.