Can Price Transparency Revolutionize Your Healthcare Collections?
When patients arrive at your practice, they’re already experiencing uncertainty. They’re looking for a diagnosis for their medical conditions. It’s your responsibility as a healthcare practitioner to alleviate that uncertainty. However, what about the uncertainty they suffer regarding their healthcare and medication costs? With patients having to pay a larger portion of their treatment costs themselves, it’s no wonder so many are worried. Yet, with appropriate price transparency tools, it’s possible to revolutionize your healthcare collections and alleviate their concerns simultaneously. By making the price of their medications transparent as you’re prescribing them, patient relationships can be greatly improved.
Tiered medication benefits, high-deductible insurance plans, altering drug formularies, and PA rules are all confusing to patients. It’s no wonder they’re unaware of the amount they’re going to have to pay for the medications they need. Being unaware of the amount their prescription is going to cost is just one barrier patients face. The last thing patients need is to arrive at the pharmacy only to discover they can’t afford their medicines. Yet, many get to the counter only to discover their insurance plans don’t cover them, or they require PA. If this happens, your patients will not be able to obtain the medicines they require. Sometimes, they just abandon their medications in the pharmacy. Or, they may collect it and pay but never refill it. As a result, their health suffers.
Transparency During Prescribing
To avoid this problem, it’s important to be transparent when prescribing medications. You must tell patients about the benefits of the drug and whether their health plans will cover it. You must also tell them whether the drug requires PA. Patients need to know the amount they’ll need to pay if their plan doesn’t cover it. This will also give you the opportunity to discuss any cheaper alternatives.
Transparency During Payment
Patients need to know in advance how much they’re expected to pay for their treatments. In the days when insurance companies covered the lion’s share of the costs, this was not so vital. However, now, if patients don’t know the total cost of their care, they could get a nasty shock. If a huge bill arrives after they have received their treatments, patients are unlikely to make payments. And, if they do, it certainly will not be in a timely manner. Transparency from the start can eliminate this problem. When patients are aware in advance roughly how much they’ll be paying, they’re prepared for that invoice. They can plan how they’re going to pay.
Part of this transparency requires practices to facilitate patient payments in the most convenient way. The right healthcare collections solution has a huge role to play in this. Collecting patient payments can be a challenge if there are too few options available. This holds true even if patients are aware of how much they’ll have to pay. By implementing online payment portals, secure telephone payments, and even SMS payments, patients have greater convenience. Also, when patients are aware of the amount they’ll need to pay in advance, they can set up payment plans.
With a payment plan in place, patients have greater control over their finances. They are free from the worry of having to pay one large lump sum immediately. Practices, too, can benefit. When payment plans are in place, practices can maintain cash flow at a regular rate.
How Does Transparency Benefit Patients?
Price transparency offers a host of benefits to patients:
- Access to drugs and services becomes easier when they eliminate any unanticipated costs.
- There is a reduction in red tape. Patients can more effectively navigate obstacles, such as PA requirements. This prevents treatment delays.
- Money savings. Patients will know whether they can afford their treatments while in the office. This allows you to find a suitable, more affordable alternative.
- Time savings. Patients won’t waste time heading to the pharmacy and, then, discovering there’s a problem.
How Does Transparency Benefit the Practice?
Transparency may benefit patients, but it benefits the practice, too. These advantages include:
- Improvements in care coordination and continuity. When patients know how much their treatments cost, they’re more likely to adhere to their prescriptions.
- Patients remain more loyal to the practice. You are improving their loyalty and satisfaction by helping them to manage their treatments more effectively. As a result, patients will remain with your practice in the long term. Even better, they may recommend your practice to family or friends. This will boost your reviews and referrals and increase the number of patients who come to you for treatment.
- Meeting quality and cost targets. When you provide greater transparency of pricing, you keep your patients healthier. This enables you to better meet the targets in a value-based contract of care.
As you can see, there are many ways in which price transparency can improve the functioning of your practice. Not only can it improve patient outcomes, but it can also revolutionize your healthcare collections.