Increased Deductibles and Copays – A Gamechanger!

The Affordable Care Act is upon us.  Now, insurance companies are aggressively adjusting policies by drastically increasing the patient’s deductible and copay portion to offset the increased cost of healthcare.  These increased healthcare costs are causing employers to move from offering multiple insurance policy options to only offering these high-deductible policies.  In fact, according to the National Business Group on Health, “a big change is in the number of employers that plan to offer a high-deductible plan as their only option — 19% in 2013, up from 7% in 2009”. http://www.nasdaq.com/article/make-the-most-of-health-insurance-changes-in-2013-cm163377

This means that your practice will be working directly with patients to collect payments for services more than ever before. In 2013, estimates are that 30% of provider payments came directly from patients.  This percentage is only expected to increase as time goes on.  Most significant to note is that according to the 2010 McKinsley Report, $65 billion in uncollected revenues for physicians was attributed to patient bad debt. Equally as important is the increased effort needed to collect directly from patients.  As it stands now, The Physicians Foundation reports that in 2012, physicians in the United States spent 22% of their time processing non-clinical paperwork.   Therefore, it is crucial that this evolved process includes technology resources, tools and training to develop the most efficient and successful patient collection process.

Increased deductibles and copays are a GAMECHANGER.  These changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act can jeopardize revenue and cash flow for the physician practice. This requires a focused billing resource to process and protect the practice revenue with an effective plan and proper technology.