Adapting Revenue Cycle Strategies to Accommodate High-Deductible Health Plans
July 13, 2023
As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, one of the most prominent and challenging shifts is the increasing prevalence of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). These plans, which require patients to pay a high deductible before their insurance kicks in, often cause revenue cycle management challenges for health systems. In order to be successful in a HDHP environment, health systems must adapt their revenue cycle strategies to meet the demands of this new reality.
The primary challenge posed by HDHPs is that patients are typically responsible for a large portion of the cost of their care. This means that practices must focus their efforts on collecting patient payments up front, as opposed to relying on insurance reimbursements later. If practices are unable to collect patient payments quickly and efficiently, their financial health will be threatened.
There are several strategies that can help practices adapt to a HDHP environment. One of the most important tools is technology. Automated patient payment options, such as online portals, allow patients to pay their bills quickly and conveniently. Additionally, financial counselors can help educate patients about their payment options and the cost of their care.
For those practices that do not have the resources to invest in sophisticated technology solutions, there are other strategies they can employ. For instance, they may opt to use pre-service telephone collections. During pre-service calls, employees can review patient accounts, explain their payment options, and collect fees up front. This helps to ensure that fees are collected prior to services being rendered.
Finally, practices should consider developing a financial assistance program for patients who are unable to pay their bills in full. While these programs may require an investment of time and resources, they can help ensure that patients receive the care they need.
The increasing prevalence of HDHPs is creating new challenges for health systems. To be successful in this new environment, it is critical that practices develop strategies that account for the unique demands of HDHPs. By investing in the following strategies, health systems can ensure that they are able to collect patient payments efficiently:
- Investing in technology solutions
- Utilizing pre-service telephone collections
- Offering financial assistance programs