Surviving The Self-Pay Patient Landscape

The healthcare industry is in the midst of a huge change with its patient collection programs. This change is causing strides towards designing sophisticated and patient-friendly programs that increase transparency, improve user experience, and minimize pressure from the IRS. These programs help hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers offer easy-to-understand patient statements and front-end eligibility help. Furthermore, the real-time analytics that these solutions provide make it easier to comprehend entire portfolios from the click of a button. However, if an organization fails to realize this trend they will fall behind. Below we've listed ways that healthcare organizations can survive the changing self-pay patient landscape.

1. Be Proactive

Healthcare organizations can no longer rely on old and outdated key indicators that they've been using for the past 5-10 years. Old methodologies will ultimately lead to false conclusions on current collection trends that could cause huge collection losses. Now is the best time to change the evaluation process and no longer compare new collection statistics to historic rates.

2. Update Your Analytics Programs

Financial classes are blending. This means that utilizing analytic programs and solutions is critical to success. Healthcare organizations need to manage seemingly endless amounts of scientific data in order to drive improvement on both their internal processes and overall patient experience. Staying on top of and manage all of the data can be a big challenge without implementing the proper analytics programs. Their analytic programs need to provide detailed information at any given time.

3. Incorporate New Workflow Processes

It's no longer easy to project which patients were more or less likely to pay their bills. Now that traditional co-pay/deductible financial class dollars are increasing, workflows must change. Consumers are also becoming increasingly educated and savvy about healthcare processes, which leads to higher expectations.

Some of the new workflows that healthcare organizations are beginning to offer include e-statements, online portals, and greater financial assistance visibility. 

4. Self-Pay Discounts

The decrease in liquidation rates on traditional co-pay/deductible financial classes is forcing hospitals to revisit collection practices for patients with higher deductibles. This is forcing some healthcare organizations to incorporate aggressive presumptive charity programs and identifying aggressive self-pay discount levels. Organizations can no longer offer deep discounts on the front end to prompt payment on high-dollar accounts.

5. Implement Smart Collection Tactics

Performance of self-pay collections depends a lot on having strong internal and external partners who are skilled data mining experts. A solid partner will know the data and be able to update everything you need. When evaluating your vendor, a primary question you should ask them is what tactics they will use to identify traditional co-pay/deductible financial class consumers versus people who have suffered from true self-pay into subsidized insurance.

Understanding the trends that are happening within the self-pay patient landscape is important, especially since it involves the collection of money that is owed to you. It's important that healthcare organizations assess their current situation so that they don't fall behind on industry trends.