Want Engaged Asthma Patients and Caregivers? Make it Easy for them to Understand the Cost of Care

engaged patients.jpgPatients and providers have at least one thing in common: Both are frustrated by the costs and paperwork associated with asthma care. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: The total cost of treating asthma and its associated conditions in the U.S is $82 billion annually, according to research published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

The two largest factors:

  • Medical costs: The annual per-person direct medical cost of asthma is $3,266.
  • Absenteeism: The indirect costs related to missed work and school days total about $3 billion annually.

But there’s a whole other level of costs that these statistics fail to take into account-- intangible costs such as the decrease in quality of life, increases in pain, physical limitations, lost opportunities, and countless others. As the researchers writing in Asthma Research and Practice point out, those costs are almost impossible to quantify. As a result, they are often left out of the cost discussion--and often, so are patients.

The Need for Cost Transparency
Far too many people are unclear on how much a doctor visit will cost them. Navigating what’s covered by insurance and the remaining costs owed by the patient after insurance claim adjudication can be frustrating and confusing. Too often, the payment system is unclear and overly complicated creating challenges for providers and patients alike. For many families, concerns over the ability to pay add another layer of distress. With the precipitous rise of high deductible health plans (HDHPs), many patients are forced to forgo or delay medical care because of the extra cost burden they now carry. 

Patients need healthcare cost transparency, simplicity, and convenience. With increased price transparency, patients can make informed decisions about their own healthcare, empowering the patient and building trust between patient and healthcare provider. When patients are aware of and understand healthcare costs, they are empowered to plan ahead, tap into their health savings account or even implement a payment plan. This all adds up to great news for healthcare providers because when patients are empowered to manage their healthcare costs, this ultimately means more revenue is collected by the provider.

To bring  this much needed cost transparency, clarity, and convenience to patients, medical providers need  a patient revenue cycle solution  in place--at the point of care--to make it as easy as possible for patients to pay their bill.

Among the many benefits to providing the right tools for allergy & asthma patient revenue cycle management is that when you offer a system that provides a better, easier-to-understand billing process, the result is more loyal and satisfied patients. That helps your practice and--by removing the incentive for patients to jump from provider to provider--it keeps care coordinated and consistent.

The Benefits of Having the Right Tools
As a recent Kaiser Health News report observes, “The perverse incentives of the health care payment system have long made it far more lucrative to treat severe, dangerous asthma attacks than to prevent them.”

The ease and convenience of having a modern patient revenue cycle solution in place helps you spend less time chasing outstanding patient revenue, and allows you more time to focus on your core competencies. This means less stress and less wasted time for all parties. More time can be devoted to symptom prevention and patient education, which, in turn, can ultimately lower the total cost of care. In this way, both providers and patients will be able to focus less on the billing end of asthma and allergy care, and more on the care needs of the patient to help proactively manage their symptoms.

We Can Help
We can help your practice make that happen.

Chances are, the first and last touch points in your office relate to payment, not asthma care. Providing a patient-centered approach can streamline your revenue cycle process, helping to lower the cost to collect and positively impacting practice operating income.

The Health iPASS platform redefines the patient revenue cycle by fundamentally improving the patient experience from appointment to payment. We accomplish this by simplifying the check-in process and streamlining both time-of-service and residual balance payments.

If you’d like to learn more, download The 8 Ways Health iPASS Improves the Patient Payment Process. Or simply schedule a demo today to see for yourself how we help clients collect millions in annual patient revenue, reduce denied claims, and establish cost transparency and patient loyalty.