As many medical care providers are painfully aware, the health-care market is changing. Employers are shifting more costs onto their workers, and many new health plans under Obamacare feature high out-of-pocket costs. 15.5 million people are currently covered by a high deductible health care plan. In fact, 64% of American workers have a deductible of $1000 or more.
Since people have to become accountable for what they spend on health care, the same way they are for food, shelter, entertainment, and other similar expenses, they will need to become better health-care shoppers. Therefore, they need to know the full cost of treatment and care.
Unfortunately, consumers often don’t understand their benefits or their bill; and they have no idea how much their healthcare may cost prior to treatment. A recent Trans Union survey of patients who reported paying a bill late or not at all found that nearly six in 10 patients (56%) either rarely or never received an estimate of out-of-pocket costs before they received treatment; 59% said they have been surprised by the costs they were responsible for when receiving their final bill.
Medical industry surveys show that providers who don't employ a thorough patient billing service solution often collect only 50% to 60% of patient co-payments. Today these co-payments average up to 20% of the total cost of care. Collectability of these receivables drops 40% to 80% when 90 to 120 days old, and often, unfortunately, become complete write-offs.
All this helps to contribute to the overall rise of costs within the industry. For example, in 2011, health expenditures in the United States reached $2.7 trillion, more than ten times the $256 billion spent in 1980.
Transparency tools provide a way to keep care affordable. Greater transparency means that quality health care providers will receive the recognition they deserve for the excellent care they deliver. And, providing cost and other information before treatment, actually lowers costs and improves outcomes. The more accurate, personalized, and relevant the data, the better healthcare works.2
In April of 2014, two dozen healthcare industry entities issued new recommendations on how to provide the cost of health-care services to patients. The report's major recommendations include how to provide patients with:
The total estimated price of the service
A clear indication of whether the provider is in-network
A patient's out-of-pocket costs
Other relevant information (such as arrangements for payment)
Previously, most consumers didn’t have access to costs for services. That has changed as transparency has become more prevalent and more in demand. In point of fact, the Affordable Care Act now requires health plans to offer transparency tools.1
The bottom line is: consumers need, want, and deserve to know the full cost of treatment and care. Transparency tools provide a way to keep their care affordable.
The primary focus of Medical Recovery Services has always been to provide small community and critical access hospitals with affordable Revenue Cycle Services; the same services usually only enjoyed by larger medical institutions.
With that in mind, the Patient Estimator, Medical Recovery Services’ transparency tool has now been made available to small community and critical access hospitals at exceptionally affordable rates and terms. For a nominal charge, an on-line Electronic Patient Eligibility component can be added, significantly streamlining the process.
Medical Recovery Services’ Patient Estimator satisfies all the healthcare community’s recommendations, providing patients with a dated, time-stamped printout of all charges and obligations.
The patient information is stored in an on-site database. The printout would then be signed by the patient and the hospital can place a photocopy of the agreement on file for future reference.
For more information, contact Medical Recovery Services
Medical Recovery Services is a full-service revenue cycle company assisting
hospitals and surgical centers in achieving their full earning potential since 2004.