The “patient as payer” trend is growing


Continuing with a traditional “billing as usual” approach is not going to be enough, as more responsibilities fall on the patients.

A published study Last week showed that only 30% of self-paid accounts, composed mostly of uninsured patients, generated 80% of self-paid income for hospitals.

This is certainly an unbalanced statistic, made particularly significant by the hot air balloon. uninsured rate.

But what should income cycle executives do – in a practical sense – with this conclusion?

HealthLeaders asked this question to Dave Wojczynski, President of TransUnion Healthcare, which led the analysis.

“Assuming that all patients have the same ability and willingness to pay their bills is no longer an effective collection strategy,” he said via email.

Instead, those responsible for the revenue cycle must work hard to determine which patients are most likely to pay their bill and which will repeatedly throw it in the trash.

“Willingness to pay and charity scoring are tools for stratifying the bad debt portfolio into the appropriate payment categories,” Wojczynski explains. “Suppliers need to identify accounts with the ability and willingness to pay accurately and efficiently to generate collections and ultimately generate revenue. “

The analysis also yielded other results, including one that Wojczynski says is particularly relevant to revenue cycle leaders: an increase in PBAI (patient balance after insurance) from 8% to 12% over a period of five years.

This finding is “compelling” because it “indicates the increasing tendency of the patient to become the payer,” says Wojczynski.

However, continuing with “billing as usual” is not going to cut it.

“Traditional billing on a disengaged patient after discharge will lead to ongoing challenges in unpaid care,” he says.

There are plenty of ways to get away from traditional billing and increase engagement.

For example, a growing number of suppliers are offering SMS billing options and give patients a “Retail experience” for point-of-service payments. They are also taking steps to improve upstream collections.

Others learn that facilitate invoicing and more convenient by allowing patients to choose the type of communication they prefer (text, email or paper, for example), they can effectively boost collections in the long run.

“Engaging patients early on to protect earned revenue will be critical in provider loyalty and patient experience initiatives to drive volume and revenue from positive patient payment experiences,” said Wojczynski .

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a writer for HealthLeaders.


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