Take the “Surprise” out of Medical Bills with
More than half of patients say that they delay paying their West. And right now, patients are one of the fastest growing payers for practices. No wonder managing overdue payments is such a significant challenge for providers! bills, according to a survey by
According to the survey, patients cite unexpectedly high deductibles as the top reason behind delayed medical payments.
For 2021, the IRS defines a high health plan (HDHP) as any plan with a of at least $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family. An HDHP’s total yearly out-of-pocket expenses (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) can’t be more than $7,000 for an individual or $14,000 for a family, but this limit doesn’t apply to out-of-network services.
With the rise of HDHPs, patients are taking on more for their medical bills. But patients don’t always understand what that means. For instance, most patients don’t know the of medical services until they receive a bill. And many patients don’t fully grasp what their does and doesn’t cover. This lack of awareness and the resulting delay in impact a practice’s .
So, what can providers do to help patients pay their medical bills on time?
Give patients an of what they will owe
Be proactive. Prevent surprises and delayed payments by informing your patients about what they should expect to pay. Creating an accurate for each may sound daunting given the complexities and variety of plans. tools can help. By calculating out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays, and co- amounts, tools can quickly show what the will owe for a visit. Many Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) companies offer these tools.
For example, eMEDIX offers a tool with their clearinghouse services that helps providers set their patients’ financial expectations upfront. is a web-based product that allows providers to calculate what a will owe based on a number of factors, such as whether a has met their or if the needs to make a copay. This solution enables providers to pre-calculate an individualized out-of-pocket using data from previous payments, and facility fees, and the ’s own benefit .
estimation tools can help increase because transparency about —in advance of treatment—helps patients feel that they are informed and empowered consumers.
Provide convenient ways for patients to pay
Once the has the , the next important step the practice needs to take is to provide patients with easy and convenient ways for the to pay.
First, by leveraging estimation tools, providers can begin talking about as soon as the arrives at the office for their appointment. Collecting at the time of service gives providers the best chance at collecting outstanding balances on time. Some providers use a policy of keeping a ’s credit card on file, which facilitates timely transactions.
Next, providers can use e- as part of automating . Many patients prefer receiving their statements electronically and want an option to pay their bills online. statement vendors and portal solutions can provide practices with tools that will allow patients to pay their balances securely and online. These vendors also offer tools that send patients emails to inform them of balances due and then provide secure environments to which those patients can log in and review their statements.
Lastly, providers can make it easier for patients to pay their bills by setting up plans for larger balances or for patients that are suffering financially.
Develop your patient responsibility estimation strategy today
With the implementation of the No Surprises Act in 2022, the importance of helping patients understand what they will owe before services are rendered will increase. Start developing your approach today to help your practice comply with new regulations. Contact eMEDIX to learn more.