Patients have to manage many healthcare costs. From travel expenses to lab costs to insurance fees, receiving healthcare treatments can be costly. And to make matters worse, payment processes are often confusing and complicated. It’s often challenging to understand how much patients owe when factoring in healthcare systems, Medicare, and other coverage options. Patients also face additional copays, insurance premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. For those without medical insurance, it can be even more overwhelming to understand their bills and how they will afford the costs.
The variations in payment and coverage options make it important to use transparency when discussing fees with patients. Healthcare professionals should strive to give in-depth explanations of prices and services. Providing sufficient information about price breakdown builds trust with patients and sets expectations for future visits. It could prepare them for future bills and reduce late fees in the long term.
Read on for more information about price transparency in healthcare.
Clarifying healthcare services is essential for price transparency. One of the confusing price points of healthcare concerns the difference between physicals and wellness visits. Both of these visits are yearly check-ups used for ongoing health maintenance. However, the two visits have some key differences separating them:
Despite their differences, the two visits are similar, and sometimes their terms are used interchangeably, adding to the overall patient confusion. This confusion can lead to complications in payments.
For example, patients might request a physical exam because they think Medicare covers it. Afterward, they receive a bill for the services they cannot afford. The bill will add to their bewilderment about healthcare costs, especially if they cannot find an explanation after the appointment.
The confusion between a wellness visit and a physical exam is an example of the lack of transparency in healthcare pricing. Patients should be fully aware of prices for typical tests and operations. They can then discuss payment coverage with their insurance provider or prepare another way to pay.
By understanding what is covered in specific visits and treatments, patients can better prepare for future bills. The more prepared patients are, the less likely they will halt or decline treatment. For example, these are usually included in wellness visits without extra payments:
However, these are not covered by an annual wellness check-up:
Keeping patients informed about annual wellness visit coverage helps with price transparency.
Patients often face other hidden healthcare fees that deter them from seeking care. Many of these services aren’t upfront about total costs, making patients unable to afford expenses. The overwhelming variety of fees might cause users to stop asking for medical care altogether, which has dangerous consequences on our society’s health and the healthcare system.
In addition to copays, healthcare payers face expenses like:
Without payment transparency, these prices might become unmanageable for patients. If they can’t keep track of their overall healthcare expenses, they could fail to set aside sufficient funds for payment.
It’s crucial to keep healthcare accessible for all people. However, the rising costs of health services and other factors prevent many patients from accessing it readily.
Healthcare professionals should strive for cost transparency in their practices. Unexpected fees cause patients to feel frustrated and distrustful toward their healthcare practitioners. Using price transparency builds trust with your patients and increases the chance they’ll return for your services later.
Maintaining patient retention assists with a practice’s success. The stronger bond you have with your patients, the more rewarding the experience becomes. Show your patients you care by providing detailed accounts of costs and price breakdowns.
Medical professionals should carefully approach discussions of costs with patients. They should be honest and upfront about service fees. Doctors could ask about financial situations or worries about payments, creating an empathetic connection. Talking about costs openly reduces fear and encourages a way to find solutions.
For example, clarify the difference between annual physicals and wellness visits. Use charts or infographics to clearly differentiate services and how much they will cost with or without insurance. Ensure that all employees are well-versed in costs and can answer any questions.
You could also implement solutions like automated payments. These can help patients pay faster and give them a full explanation of their bills.
By offering explanations and open discussions, patients can better understand their healthcare expenses. They will also trust your services more and will likely return for future appointments. Lastly, the price and quality transparency can help more patients access healthcare services and improve revenue cycle management.
If you need assistance with managing patient billing services, consider Rectangle Health. Rectangle Health is a leader in healthcare technology, providing software solutions for hospitals, dental practices, and other specialty locations. By streamlining your payment processes and updating technology systems, you can improve efficiency and price transparency for patients.
Our Practice Management Bridge® software can improve your efficiency and enhance the patient experience. From payment solutions to communication capabilities, our software helps in a variety of ways. You can easily integrate our platform with your current technology to get started in no time.
In addition to patient billing services, Practice Management Bridge® features:
To get started with Rectangle Health and our healthcare solutions, contact us today.