This post is the first in a series of three that aims to evaluate today’s healthcare statistics and their impact on facility operations. To accommodate today’s changing healthcare environment, Apex believes that providers must employ new and innovative techniques to solve the problem of low collection rates and their impact on the bottom line of healthcare facilities:
In the last 10 years, the average premium for family health insurance coverage has increased by 80 percent, with the average cost now $16,351 ($5,884 for individuals).
Impact: According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, “two-thirds of a premium increase is paid for with wages and the remaining third from a reduction in benefits.” Additionally, “every 10 percent increase in health insurance costs reduces the chances of being employed by 1.6 percent. It also reduced hours worked by 1 percent.” As costs increase, and discretionary income decreases, it becomes increasingly difficult for patients to pay off their medical bills and therefore more difficult healthcare facilities to collect.
Apex solution: This healthcare statistic provides some insight on the difficult problem of unpaid balances. To reduce balances forwarded to collections agencies, healthcare providers need to vary the content of each statement based on each patient’s needs. This can be accomplished by applying “flexible logic” in the production of statements, so that patient-relevant messages about payments plans, other payment options, and online billing and payment portals are most likely to have an impact. In addition to taking into account the age of the patient’s balance, the healthcare provider can optimize statements based on factors such as: services rendered, payment history, previous payment methods, propensity to pay, available assistance (Medicare, Medicaid), ZIP code, and other demographic information.
Follow the Apex blog for more healthcare industry statistics and their impact on the bottom line of healthcare facilities. This is the first post in a series of three.
Part II: http://bit.ly/14WWzAz
Part III: http://bit.ly/14Ei8Fz