Doctors’ offices, private medical practices, and hospitals face many challenges with regard to healthcare. Providing quality care to their patients is always a priority. However, with increasing deductibles on insurance plans and limited services provided, they often have to collect the balance on treatments from individuals.
Overload of Emergency Rooms
Higher deductibles force many Americans to make difficult decisions regarding their health. In many cases, they remain untreated until their health becomes something of imminent concern. At this time, they opt to go to the emergency room versus making an appointment at the doctor’s office. Unfortunately, the emergency room doesn’t have the capacity to see many patients quickly and doesn’t always have access to the patient’s complete medical history. Additionally, the higher deductibles that apply to emergency room visits often create higher costs for the facility due to an inability of patients to make timely payments or make any payments at all.
Reducing Out-of-Pocket Costs to the Consumer
Supplemental insurance along with a health insurance policy will reduce the monetary burden on both the patient and the medical center. Fixed indemnity is a type of supplemental insurance that can help consumers reduce their monetary requirements for healthcare services while also offsetting costs for healthcare facilities. Lower deductibles and copays reduce the gap between what a health insurance policy covers and the amount a patient will owe to a hospital, doctor’s office, or pharmacy.
Selective Patient Care
Unfortunately, the current healthcare crisis is forcing many medical facilities to become selective when choosing patients as a means of guaranteeing payments. Some practices only accept new patients who have insurance through certain insurance companies. Their first question is “who is your insurance company?” After that, they review the type of policy acquired. If there are limitations to services, they often decline to accept new patients. While medical practices take the heat for using this method, insurance companies bear some of the blame. Their unwillingness to pay what medical practitioners perceive as a fair rate prevents private medical centers from signing on these new patients.
Understanding the Insurance Plan
Having knowledge of the various types of insurance will enable consumers to select a health insurance policy that benefits their immediate needs. Younger people in their early twenties can find affordable health care by obtaining a policy with a higher deductible. Families raising children benefit more from a policy that has a lower deductible. Finding a policy that limits healthcare to only the service providers listed will make it more affordable. Older citizens at a higher risk for an illness or disease will benefit from having the ability to go outside the network and use their supplemental insurance to help lower their out-of-pocket responsibility. An understanding by the consumer of the different insurance plans available will reduce costs to medical facilities, ensuring they maintain a healthy bottom line.
Dealing with Higher Deductibles
Though many people have a health insurance policy, the deductibles are high. This is due to the enormous expense of consumer health insurance. It only makes sense that if you want to lower your monthly premium, you increase the deductible. Unfortunately, for those with private medical practices and hospitals, it doesn’t provide any reassurance that once the procedure is complete, the patient will pay the bill. There are several ways to reduce the risk of a non-payee. First, disclosure of the full amount of the procedure is necessary for the patient and doctor. This allows for a discussion on what amount the patient will be responsible for paying. You, as the doctor, can use this information to set up monthly payments ahead of the procedure to get the ball rolling.
You want to provide quality care to all your patients. Advising them ahead of time as to the proposed costs not covered through their insurance and finding ways to collect the balance will allow you to preserve your bottom line. It will also enable you to invest in new technologies that benefit patient outcomes.
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