By Patrick Creagh
The Kaiser Family Foundation released the results of their 18th annual employer health benefits survey and the average deductible (for single workers) has increased to $1,478, compared to $735 in 2008. On the bright side, the survey showed just under ten percent of Americans were not covered by health insurance and average premiums only increased by 3%.
What does another year of increases in out-of-pocket costs mean for healthcare providers and their patients? It means both parties will have more ‘skin in the game’, leaving a larger segment of the healthcare revenue cycle to be settled between the provider and the patient.
According to the survey, 40% of patients insured by their employer are covered under a high deductible health plan, with or without an HSA (healthcare savings account). These patients will be more likely to seek out payment plans or financing for any episode of care that approaches exceeds their deductible.
Providers are already taking steps to address the shift to consumerism in healthcare. In Patientco’s State of the Industry Survey report, 86% of providers rated patient satisfaction as a top concern regarding financial experience. Providers are also transitioning to EMV-compliant credit card processing if they have not already, due to the passed deadline to make the transition.
If these trends continue as expected, providers will need to prepare their business office staff to manage increased volume of patient payment transactions, and the respective task of reconciling and posting these payments.
You can download Patientco’s State of the Industry Report for free, click here to get your copy.