As enrollment in high-deductible plans continues to grow and patient responsibility amounts increase, industry estimates project that healthcare providers could lose as much as $200 billion dollars to patient bad debt during the next five years. While patients used to be responsible for about six to 10 percent of their health costs under their health plans, this Modern Healthcare article points out it’s now much closer to the 15 to 20 percent range.
It’s important for your practice to be able to collect these funds in a timely fashion, so you do not have to resort to costly collection agencies or write it off as bad debt. The article also points out that medical practices and hospital leaders are starting to recognize the old way of billing patients is not going to suffice anymore, especially as patients are becoming responsible for much higher percentages of their bills out-of-pocket.
With lots of money at stake, your practice should think about investing in new tools to simplify bills with the aim of speeding up and maximizing payments at the point of service. If you’re able to collect fees up front, you’ll save time and effort down the road, and you can focus on other areas of your practice.
At a time when patient payments represent a growing portion of overall revenue, it is critical to rethink how the industry approaches patient collections. By finding ways to capture more funds at the time-of-service and leveraging new technology available, you’ll be able to dramatically increase efficiencies, prevent bad debt and strengthen your bottom line.