The Affordable Care Act has brought healthcare to more people but also caused an increase in patients who don’t pay their bill. Offering more finance options and using revenue cycle management can ease the problem.
The Affordable Care Act was passed to do exactly that, bring access to healthcare to lower income families. The law made it a requirement to obtain insurance and a marketplace of affordable policies was set up for consumers to choose from. However, those policies typically have higher deductibles compared with plans prior to the act. The cheaper the premium, the higher the patient’s out-of-pocket expenses will be.
While Affordable Care Act assistance has seen an overall increase in revenue taken by hospitals and clinics, there has also been an increase in the number of patients who cannot pay their bills. High deductible plans have been popular since the change in law, due to their affordable premiums, but they have increased out-of-pocket expenses by more than 200%.
Managing Patient Finances Professionally
For doctors who don’t want the headache of chasing unpaid bills, they can hand over the financial management to a revenue cycle consultant, leaving them free to get on with caring for their patients. A revenue cycle consultant can:
- Improve patient access to services
- Improve patient financial services
- Manage revenue.
Revenue Cycle Management Explained
Revenue cycle management puts in place effective booking systems so that all the patient’s details, including their insurance provider are taken down before their appointment.
It’s also about verifying the patient’s eligibility for treatment on their particular insurance plan. If this is done prior to making a claim, it can cut down practice expenses. Rejected claims cost around $25 per claim.
Providing the patient with an electronic breakdown of their treatment and cost will improve compliance with bills. It’s convenient and most patients like to know what they will have to pay in advance. Offering payment by installment online, over a longer period will also help struggling patients pay their medical bills and reduce unnecessary practice losses.
More patients are accessing medical services due to the Affordable Care Act, but care is still not affordable to some because of increased deductibles. Using a revenue cycle management system can reduce unpaid bills and improve the efficiency of medical practice.