Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) there are now over 17 million newly insured consumers in the U.S. One of the biggest issues facing medical practitioners is the fact that many of the ACA policies, although cheaper, come with high deductibles to be paid by the patient. What does that mean?
It means that a vast majority of people insured by the government may still not be likely to visit their doctors due to excessively high out of pocket costs. So, what can you do to convince your high deductible patients not to neglect their health over financial concerns? Take a look at these five suggestions.
- Ongoing Education – Millions of people may now enjoy the benefits of health coverage, but teaching people the ins-and-outs of what that means, exactly, may take a bit more time. Consider a marketing, or email campaign that will allow you an opportunity to inform these patients, and guide them to a better understanding of their coverage.
- Convince Them of the Importance of Regular Visits – Many people with high deductible plans will avoid going to the doctor over minor, or non-emergency ailments. Often minor aches and pains, or other less alarming symptoms are ignored, but could be indicators to more serious issues. Catching some things early on could save on medical expenses in the future. Convince them!
- Consider Payment Plans – Although it is a good practice to get your AR department to ask for co-pays at the point of service once the patient agrees, consider offering a payment plan to those who otherwise would reuse to accept treatment. This is also one way to avoid a build up of bad debt, which takes time and resources to collect.
- Add an HSA Plan – Many people’s coverage allows for a health savings account to help offset the price of high deductibles. Patients may be unaware that these accounts are not subject to state, or Federal taxes. Coupling an HSA to an existing plan is another way to alleviate the financial burden of out of pocket costs.
- Straight Talk About Money – Money is a hot-button issue with many people, and most will go out of their way to avoid talk about finances completely. Understand this from the viewpoint of someone who may not have received adequate, if any, financial education. Train your employees to spot and handle patient money concerns, so that they might be able to ease client concerns while continuing to educate them on the importance of maintaining a consistent level of good health.