Increase Patient Pay in Light of ACA? Yes. It’s possible.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now being implemented, and with it comes a changing healthcare experience for millions of Americans. Whether or not you support the concepts and implementation of the ACA, the time has come to look at the realities of the ACA’s impact on your practice in order to avoid financial set-backs. For example: Are you familiar with the new coding regulations? Do your billing and coding staff have the latest claims forms? Do they know the various types of new insurance carriers that patients will present?
The most obvious impact of the ACA on healthcare is that now everyone is required to have health insurance. Do you have a strategy in place to help patients who have never been insured and don’t understand how it works? For many of your patients, this may be the first time they have had health insurance coverage. When they arrive for their appointment they will probably bring their insurance card. However, you cannot assume that they will also bring an understanding of their insurance coverage, or their personal payment responsibilities. The duty of explaining coverage and payment obligations to each patient lies squarely on the shoulders of your staff.
As burdensome as this may seem, you can find a solution. In fact, we have the tools and strategies you need to effectively address this new patient education burden. MICI software provides your staff with immediate, accurate insurance coverage details for each patient. The moment the patient appears in your practice, your staff has powerful data at their fingertips to help the patient understand their obligations:
- High-deductible plans
- Responsibility for up-front payments until their deductible is met
- Physician practice insurance coverage is different from that for hospitals
- How to properly establish themselves with your practice
The more understanding the patient has and the more communication with your staff, the higher patient satisfaction will be. Clarity creates understanding for the patient and a clear expectation of their financial responsibility. Armed with accurate information, your staff can talk face-to-face with the patient and set up a mutually agreed upon payment schedule at the time of the appointment. This prevents precious dollars from walking out the door. It also creates a more empathetic practice, one that is concerned with economic patient outcomes as well as clinical outcomes.
We can’t just click our heels and go back to a simpler world. However, each practice can make sure they have selected the correct healthcare revenue cycle management company, purchased razor sharp billing and coding software and streamlined practice workflow for optimum profitability. MICI provides these things to our clients. Along with it, we provide the care and empathy that is one of the Five Pillars of our vision of equitable healthcare for everyone: MICI genuinely cares about people. From resolving a problem with an upset patient to facilitating the continuing education of our MICI team members, everything MICI does is underscored with concern for others.