Top Providers Are Fighting Back Against Patient Bad Debt

David Silverstein, a supportive dad, struggled to understand his daughter’s medical bills. She was treated for a sports-related injury, and the bill was so confusing Silverstein debated going to court over it. He simply couldn’t get anyone at the hospital to explain the breakdown of charges.

When he managed to get the CFO of the hospital on the phone, Silverstein actually asked the hospital to sue him, primarily so the actual prices would be disclosed in court.

David and his daughter’s story is not an outlier. Without a patient-centered philosophy, hospitals struggle to collect patient payments, in time and in full. Lack of patient payment coupled with the increased popularity of high-deductible plans is saddling healthcare organizations with bad debt. Below we describe three effective (and easy) ways providers can fight back against patient bad debt.

Empower patients with payment technology.

Over 56% of patients delay paying their healthcare bills because they are confused by the explanation of the bill.

The solution: provide patients with upfront access and information that is easily digestible. The upfront and instant access is accomplished through technology that closes the consumer gaps in patient care. Personalized information and customized payment plans are accomplished with platforms like Simplee.

If patients can understand what they are paying for, fewer hospitals will see their bottom lines take a hit. Upgrading to a tech platform to pair with patient care actually saves hospitals money. Think about it — only 23% of Americans can afford a medical bill greater than $2,000. If more people had the option to pay their healthcare expenses in monthly installments, that percentage would drastically increase. Simplee provides a strategic solution to do just that.

Discover the benefits of automated coverage detection.

Nearly one in three Americans are underinsured. Because of this, self-pay accounts have become the number one contributor to bad debt for hospitals. People state they will pay for utilities, food, and housing before worrying about a medical bill.

The way to combat this bad debt contributor is through automated coverage detection. This type of technology finds coverage that patients may not be aware of. While hospital staff do what they can to verify insurance prior to an appointment, 49% of patient payments still remain as bad debt. To boost cash flow and profits, automated coverage detection can be combined with automated eligibility verification, which is already implemented in a majority of hospitals throughout the US.

Check out revenue recoupment.

One of the latest tech advancements in healthcare is automated revenue recoupment. Hospitals can increase billable patients by over 15%, which adds millions in revenue. Using business intelligence engines and algorithms, this coverage detection can determine the attributes needed to file a claim.

Along the same lines, Simplee’s platform utilizes an algorithm that filters patient attributions to create customized payment plans. In this era dominated by tech, we have access to an abundance of information, much of which can keep patients informed and hospital profits up.