Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) have been a popular trend in the healthcare industry that places more responsibility on the patients for the cost of their care. According to a survey administered a year ago by the National Business Group on Health, 57% of employers are expanding CDHPs. In 2015, 32% of employer respondents plan to only have CDHPs as their benefits offering. The shift towards CDHPs means that providers’ incomes will no longer be coming from an insurer.
Providers may find it more difficult to collect payments from the patients, especially in the first half of the year when patients may have not met their deductible. According to a survey administered last September by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual deductible for a single person enrolled in a high-deductible plan is more than $2,000. Physicians need to be careful as they are focusing a lot of their attention on electronic health records rather than revenue cycle management. The following are some suggestions to help practices dealing with the trend towards CDHPs:
- Detailed eligibility verification- One must be sure that a patient is covered before allowing the patient to proceed with the appointment. Determine if the patient has a deductible and if it has been met yet.
- Collect at the time of service- According to a 2009 McKinsey Quarterly consumer survey, 52% of patients are willing to pay from $200 to $500 by credit/ debit card at the time of the doctor visit, if they received an estimate at the point of care. The study also found that patients are willing to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses up to $1,000 per year.
- Make it easy for patients to pay- There is a shift in the healthcare industry to a retail-centric approach that needs to be adopted by independent practices. Make it easy for patients to understand what they owe and accept the valid payment form that they prefer.
Written by Caroline Smith
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Caroline Smith is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame and is a contributor to Medical Groups. She is majoring in Science-Business and Spanish. After graduation, Caroline plans on entering the field of healthcare consulting. She is most interested in the evolving policy changes in the healthcare industry and enjoys learning about new technologies that are being developed.