Deductible Resets Are Coming In January to Freeze Up Your Operating Income: Are You Prepared?

As any home or vehicle owner knows, preparing for the big freeze ahead of the winter months can save you countless headaches and unexpected bills. For example, last year during the midwestern polar vortex I had a toilet pipe that went through my garage wall freeze due to poor insultation. Luckily, we were able to get it fixed before the pipe burst, to the tune of about $600. You can bet that we are more prepared this year with better insulation and a garage space heater. If you would spend the time to winterproof your major investments like homes and cars, then why not your medical practice?

Deductible resets in January can mean a major freeze in your practice’s operating income for a few reasons.

  • Many patients with high deductible healthcare plans (HDHPs) rush to get their elective procedures taken care of once they have met their deductible. This means a high patient volume in the autumn months, then a major slowdown for the new year once deductibles reset. Fewer patients means fewer dollars coming in. 
  • The patients with HDHPs who are visiting your office in January are often responsible for 100 percent of their healthcare costs, with no help from insurance until they meet their deductible. As we know, collecting from patients takes longer and is 2-3 times costlier than collecting from other payers. Think about putting molasses in the fridge, then trying to pour it. That’s your patient dollars come January—slow, slow, slow.

Here’s some Health iPASS features that help winter-proof your patient revenue cycle so you can weather the coming deep-freeze:

Feature: Pre-arrival communications that do more

With Health iPASS, clients can communicate and collect prior balances and even pre-service smart deposits (more on this in a bit) through our automated appointment reminders.

Benefits: Patients who know what they owe and can pay through a convenient online portal are more likely to pay. Deductible resets often cause confusion for patients on how much they owe and why. The more transparency you can provide, the better. Think of it as a mug of steaming hot cocoa for your patients' financial peace of mind.

Feature: Smart Deposits

Health iPASS calculates smart deposits using a variety of factors such insurance benefits, fee schedules, historic charge bundles, and rules for patient responsibility to predict a pre-service smart deposit amount for each visit. Patients can pay the smart deposit amount at the Health iPASS kiosk, or even via our online payment portal pre-arrival.

Benefits: Smart deposits are another tool in your Health iPASS winterproofing kit that can help you collect significant patient dollars at the time of service that used to walk out the door with your patient. Nearly every other service you pay for as a consumer requires you to make a deposit or pay at the time of service. Why not healthcare? Shovel aside all of those back-end collection tasks and provide your patients with more time-of-service payment opportunities.

Feature: Card on File (COF) Capabilities

When patients check-in using the Health iPASS kiosk, they can opt to keep their payment information (such as debit or credit card) securely on file with their healthcare provider. The information is authorized on a per-visit basis, meaning the patient must authorize to keep their COF each time they receive service. After the claim for the visit is processed, patients receive a notification that their chosen payment method will be charged in seven days. No further action from the patient is needed. Payment for that visit is automatic and painless.

Benefits: The benefits of keeping a patient COF cannot be overstated. Health iPASS clients who actively use our COF capabilities are collecting 97 cents on the dollar from patients. COF is also the #1 patient-preferred payment method for balances under $200. What's not to love? 

Picture you have the features listed above at your disposal. Can you feel that winter patient revenue cycle freeze thawing out already? We thought so. Join us here where it’s toasty-warm all year by visiting our website and scheduling a demo of our product. If you are already a client, contact your Client Success manager for more information on how you can use the above features to get your practice paid this winter.