Patient Payment Automation is a Manifestation of a Healthcare Culture Shift

Cultureshft_2In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller of the perennial 80s favorite Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And oh, how true those words are, especially these days where today’s big news is tomorrow’s forgotten Instagram post. If you picked up 80s Ferris and dropped him down in 2019, he would be in for a serious culture shock. Pop culture has been changing so quickly, it could make you dizzy. However, some things are slow to change and catch up the expectations of today. One industry that is notoriously change resistant? Healthcare.

It’s taken quite a while, but the healthcare industry is finally waking up and looking around to see that they are going to be left behind by today’s consumers if they don’t make some radical changes. Why is now the time that changes are really beginning to take place? Read on to find out.

The ubiquitous nature of high deductible healthcare plans

As of 2018, half of employer-sponsored healthcare plans had a yearly deductible of $1,000 or more. The average American saw an 11 percent increase in patient out-of-pocket costs in 2017-2018.

What’s the so-what?

The patient is now a much higher percentage of the payer mix, up 63 percent since 2012. It is more difficult and 2-3 times costlier to collect from patients than from other payers. That means you are paying more to collect less. Eventually, that imbalance will catch up with your practice. One way you can stop this dangerous financial trend is to collect payment assurance from patients at time-of-service to automatically take care of any residual balance.

The rise of healthcare consumerism

People who are paying more want to know what they are getting for their money. They have a vested interest in the cost of their care unlike they have had before. Patients are beginning to look at their healthcare like they do other expenses, meaning they want to know what it will cost before they go through with a procedure so they can decide if they will go ahead with it or not. Patients are also more likely to leave a provider who does not provide the patient experience they want, which includes individualized attention, excellent communication, and a convenient payment experience.

What’s the so-what?

Patients want healthcare price transparency, and they want it now. 28 states have enacted healthcare price transparency legislation, and the Feds are also throwing their hats in the ring with a bi-partisan committee dedicated to lowering healthcare costs and empowering patients, as well as staunching the bleeding of out-of-control healthcare spending. Anything your practice can do to increase healthcare price transparency is going to give you an edge over competitors, create healthier, happier, more loyal patients, as well as future-proof your practice against upcoming regulatory measures.

Changing patient expectations

The previous two factors mentioned contribute to this the overall change in the expectations of your patients, but so do many other trends we are seeing in the world around us. For example, 71 percent of millennials approve of telemedicine, showing their acceptance of and even desire for a paradigm shift in how we take care of our health. Patients who want and value high-tech automated options in the healthcare space will only increase as tech-savvy Gen Xers and millennials surpass baby boomers in terms of sheer numbers.

What’s the so-what?

It’s time to automate your patient revenue cycle from appointment to payment. Not only will your patients thank you, but so will your office team with less back-office paperwork and time-consuming manual tasks. You will reduce your time and costs to collect, and you will increase your patient payments, collecting more of what you are owed for services rendered.

If you’ve looked around and found yourself in the middle of a healthcare culture shift your practice is ill-equipped to handle, schedule a demo of the Health iPASS patient revenue cycle solution. We provide our clients with the tools they need to thrive in the face of the changing healthcare landscape.