There has been a growing trend for increasing deductibles on healthcare plans over the last couple years, and evidence shows they are climbing ever higher as time goes on. As saving money and reducing costs become ever more important to businesses, around three-quarters of employers are now offering high-deductible healthcare plans as an option for their workers. Predictions have been made, however, that say within just a few years, they will be the only option offered to employees by almost half the companies. This gives workers no choice but to agree to shoulder a large burden of their own treatment expenses. This is no surprise since the number of people choosing an HDHP has risen to more than 17 million from just 1 million in the last decade. Yet, while this trend is good news for employers, it raises issues for the workers as well as the healthcare providers who are increasingly finding themselves paying out of pocket.
HealthCare Organizations Finding Patients Are Struggling to Pay
Today’s healthcare insurance deductibles aren’t just high, they are incredibly high. In fact, today’s increasing deductibles can often be more than $1,000, and, apparently, 18 percent of employees are now facing deductibles that are as high as $2,000. This raises the question of what happens when patients are not able to pay their share of the treatment cost. Evidence has shown that if a bill comes to higher than 5 percent of the patient’s household income, his or her ability to pay drops to virtually zero. This is bad news for healthcare providers who are struggling to recoup their costs. Patients with high deductible insurance plans are only paying, on average, between $0.18 to $0.34 out of every dollar owed, and this clearly leads to an enormous deficit.
Bad Debt Leads to Negative Revenue Results
Increasing deductibles mean that patients delay seeking medical treatment simply because they cannot afford to pay their portion of the costs. This means they may eventually end up having to visit the emergency room and then be unable to cover the expense of the visit. This results in bad debt that could end up costing the healthcare provider dearly as the bill goes unpaid. It could cause cash-flow problems and negative revenue results, as well as recruitment and retention problems and the inability to afford new and modern equipment. The solution then is to use a collection agency to recoup the debts.
More Efficient HealthCare Payment Processing Solutions
Collecting on due balances requires years of experience within the healthcare industry, and BillingTree can offer the ideal solution, with the opportunities for collection agencies to expand their payment and billing footprint with healthcare provider accounts. BillingTree’s payment processing system ensures that a wide variety of payment types can be accepted, including FSA and HSA payments, as well as cards, ACH, and Check 21. This ensures patients are given as many options as possible to facilitate their payments and work toward clearing their debt.
The BillingTree healthcare payment processing system enables payment plans to be set up for larger balances, and thanks to the many consumer-centric solutions, it is easier for agencies to obtain payments from consumers. With cost-effective processing fees and full HIPAA certification, all transactions are secure and well-protected for peace of mind.
When patients can benefit from a wider range of payment options, healthcare providers are able to streamline their collections process for reduced bad debt and increased cash flow. Thanks to BillingTree’s healthcare collections solutions, the impact of increasing deductibles can be effectively mitigated, and healthcare providers will be better able to maintain a healthy revenue while minimizing their losses.