The Journal of the American Medical Association recently compared healthcare spending in western countries, including the United States, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Canada, and found that the U.S. spends approximately twice as much as any of these industrialized countries on medical care. While there are many factors that impact the price tag of a medical bill, a large portion of our health system spending is a result of one area we don’t often consider: administration costs.
Our Executive Director of Client Services, Marcia Leighton, was invited to sit down with RosettaHealth for a podcast interview to discuss the innovative approach that PatientMatters uses to personalize patient payment plans that benefit both healthcare organizations and patients alike, and why it’s particularly beneficial for rural communities and hospitals.
As an industry, we are beginning to really recognize and value the need to inform our patients of their out of pocket expense before their services, and eliminate any “sticker shock” the patient might feel at time of registration or once they receive their statement. We see that when we generate and communicate accurate out of pocket expenses and work to secure agreeable payment arrangements before their service, that our patient collections increase and back end vendor costs decrease. This swing in revenue opportunities is placing a premium on accurate bill estimation tools.
While there are conflicting reports about how the dismantling of the ACA has impacted the number of insured people in America, such as the recent Commonwealth Fund Survey and the CDC report circulating in the news, one thing is for certain: at least 29.3 million people were without insurance last year, and that number is only expected to climb. This is a problem that effects both patients and hospitals.
Addressing this question just might be the most difficult conversation going on in the hospital today. It’s no secret that patient obligations are the fastest growing portion of hospital receivables, and the prominence of high-deductible plans means that most patients are effectively self-pay. Registration staffs and patients grapple with finding payment solution answers that can work for each patient in their current circumstances.
For more than 30 years, PatientMatters has been focused on creating patient access and advocacy solutions to help patients cope with the financial burdens associated with healthcare. Today, patient financial obligations represent the fastest growing share of hospital receivables, and while revenue performance and patient satisfaction scores are top priorities, the way most hospitals deal with helping patients manage their financial responsibilities can be inconsistent and decentralized across multiple departments.