Healthcare providers across the board, including surgical facilities, struggle to streamline their revenue because getting patients to pay is not always easy. In fact, medical debt in the United States has become so commonplace that Forbes reported no less than half of Americans struggling with some kind of medical debt.
A recent analysis conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) estimated that collectively the United States has amassed at least $195 billion in medical debt. Approximately one in ten adults — or 23 million people — reported being $250 in debt. About half of those individuals reported significant medical debt of more than $2,000, while about 3 million owed more than $10,000.
The fact remains that patients who are informed of their financial responsibilities ahead of time are much more likely to pay their medical bills, reducing uncertainty and financial pressure on healthcare providers. In turn, financial alerts are advantageous in more ways than one — used to reach a patient outside of the regular setting and not confined to business hours; they can establish better and more productive communication with patients.
Everything comes down to communication — streamlining and personalizing such a connection with the patient builds trust, helps generate positive experiences and reduces the margin of error, where the patient does not pay their bill on time. With software that sends financial alerts and helps patients set up payment plans that make financial sense for them, you set yourself up for a great patient experience and streamlined revenue process.
According to new survey data from TransUnion Healthcare, which included responses from 2,500 patients that had visited a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office within the past six months, revealed that 75 percent of patients are looking up the cost of medical procedures online. Patients consult health system and health insurance websites to understand their out-of-pocket financial responsibility before heading to the doctor.
“Consumerism is here to stay in the healthcare industry. As more of the cost burden for medical care shifts to patients, people are paying attention to news about the economy and the impact it may have on their families,” said Dave Wojczynski, president of TransUnion Healthcare. “Consequently, patients are conducting research to determine the prices of medical procedures prior to care. For healthcare providers, this means they need to offer both quality care and a positive patient financial experience.”
Do you have any topics you'd like us to write about next? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!