With increasing deductibles and rising costs, patients want flexibility and convenience when paying their medical bills. Providers can offer this by eliminating surprise billing, encouraging payment at the time of service through a card-on-file program, and presenting copays and owed balances during intake.
Unlike Value-Based Payment models, patient-centered payments reward physicians and hospitals for delivering services that meet their patients’ needs.
Make it easy to pay
Many patients want a flexible, convenient financial experience from their physicians. Providing this is essential to maintaining patient loyalty.
For hospitals, financing plans are a multibillion-dollar business. They promise patients easy payments with no interest and don’t run credit checks or report defaults to credit agencies.
Rather than relying on financing, healthcare organizations can offer patients self-enrollment through a simple online questionnaire to help them pay for services directly. This aligns with consumer demand for digital medical bills and payment options. It also cuts out the middleman and supports physician practices’ bottom lines.
Be transparent about costs
In most other sectors of the economy, consumers can discover more about products and services through price transparency. However, healthcare pricing remains largely opaque.
Cost transparency is a huge challenge for practices, especially as patients are expected to pay more because of high-deductible health plans. This can lead to patient stress, confusion, and the perception of unfair prices. Practices can combat this by clearly communicating costs and avoiding surprise billing. This can be done through card-on-file programs and other flexible payment options.
A core component of patient-centered care is emotional support. This includes compassionately addressing patients’ concerns about financial burdens, a disease’s impact on their lives and responsibilities, or procedures’ physical pain and discomfort.
It also means providing timely access to specialists and ambulatory care. This is challenging as many value-based payment systems discourage specialty care or penalize providers for delivering high-quality services like Annual Wellness Visits. It requires a change in the way providers are paid. It also impacts hiring, training, and leadership styles. It changes the entire culture of healthcare organizations.
Offer flexible payment options
Amid mounting out-of-pocket costs, patients want more flexibility and convenience from their healthcare providers, including a simple way to pay their bills. Using innovative strategies, healthcare organizations can meet these demands and help retain patients in the future.
This includes allowing patients to store payment methods and choose automatically recurring monthly payments securely. It also means providing flexible patient financing from Payspyre based on value rather than credit score and doesn’t require a recourse model. Learn how this approach could benefit your organization.
Make it easy to pay online
Patients are increasingly demanding a digital patient financial experience. In fact, according to a 2021 survey by VisitPay, one in five healthcare consumers say the billing process could dissuade them from using a particular provider. Providers should offer online bill pay and text messaging to meet these demands.
Credit card-on-file programs make it easy for patients to pay anytime, anywhere on any device, and follow-up texts that inform them when their payments are made keep them up-to-date on their account status. These simple tools are the best way to boost collections and improve patient satisfaction.
Avoid surprise billing
Surprise medical bills occur when consumers receive care from out-of-network providers and facilities and are billed for more than their expected cost-sharing (copays, coinsurance, and deductibles) or if the health plan doesn’t cover services. Currently, federal legislation to prevent surprise billing has bipartisan and bi-cameral support.
The bill would require health plans to pay out-of-network providers the median in-network payment rate for similar services. This would reduce surprise bills for patients and lower health insurance premiums. It would also ensure patients get the care they need when needed.
Avoid non-recourse lending
Non-recourse loans limit a lender’s ability to pursue assets beyond those put up as collateral in the event of default. However, these loans are more challenging to secure and may have higher interest rates than recourse loans.
Borrowers and guarantors should consider carefully reviewing and negotiating any carve-out provisions, also known as “bad boy” carve-outs, in the non-recourse loan documents. These provisions may impose personal liability on the borrower and guarantor in the event of specific actions, such as misrepresentation or raising subordinate financing. This type of language is prevalent in non-recourse loan documents.
Focus on patient satisfaction
Patient satisfaction relates to patients’ expectations of their clinicians. While many providers are wary of embracing bundled payments, they may find that it’s in their best interest to prioritize patient financial experience, as patients often choose their care provider based on their billing experiences.
Providers implementing patient-centered care enjoy higher morale, less burnout, and greater job satisfaction for their staff members. Patients, especially those with high-deductible health plans, demand a better patient financial experience. This includes clear communication about what they owe, how they can pay, and when it’s due.