Physicians Practice Special Issues

ChangeHealthcare-eBook_October 2017

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2 S P O N S O R E D B Y O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 e are reaching the end of an era; an era where healthcare networks like Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) were the norm. Patients paid their insurance premiums and assumed their only additional costs would be their copay. Physicians accepted whatever reimburse- ment the insurance company would pay, often choosing to write off remaining patient balances since they were just too time- consuming to try to collect. This system worked fine until healthcare costs soared and it became necessary to share financial risk among the payer, the provider , and the patient. THE NEW REALITY High -deductible health plans (HDHPs) are the preferred commercial insurance offerings, both to employer-sponsored and individually- purchased plans. A HDHP is defined as hav- ing an individual annual deductible of at least $1,300, and/or a family annual deductible of at least $2,600. However, HDHPs may range from these minimums, which carry relatively- high premiums, up to several-thousand- dollars deductibles, and have lower premiums. While insurance carriers benefit from reduced finan- cial risk, providers and patients strug- gle to adapt to this environment. Patient responsibility accounts for a growing percentage of a practice's accounts receivable, and that number can be even higher in the early part of the year as many plan deductibles reset in January. Providers that don't take action into address- ing this problem are putting their practice revenue at risk. W Empowering Patients on HDHPs Improves Your Bottom Line High-deductible health plans are the preferred commercial insurance offerings and practices have to prepare patients for this reality. BY ERIC ARNSON Patient responsibility accounts for a growing percentage of a practice's accounts receivable, and that number can be even higher in the early part of the year as many plan deductibles reset in January.

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