With the most recent announcement that Obamacare Benchmark Premiums are going to rise by 25% in 2017, budget-conscious consumers are left with the inevitable choice of selecting a high deductible plan just to be able to afford their monthly premium. Even with subsidies, "affordable" health plans generally come with a deductible that most insurance card-carrying American's can't afford. Hospitals need to consider the needs of their high deductible patients as they design their payment support strategy.
It's Time for Providers to Step Up Their Game
What do providers need to do to address the increasing number of high deductible patients?
1. extend payment SUPPORT programs
While the majority of financial assistance programs focus on the uninsured or underinsured, hospitals need to align themselves with the reality that many fully insured patients also need assistance to pay their hospital bills. Instead of writing accounts off to costly options like early out, loan financing, or collections, hospitals need to extend payment support to patients who want to pay for their care, but simply can't afford it. OnPlan Health solves this problem by automatically segmenting patients to determine the best payment option and extending customized payment terms that fit their specific needs.
2. improve credit card security
Gone are the days where the majority of a patient's healthcare costs are covered by insurance. Many patients lack the savings to pay their medical bills in full, meaning more and more are turning to credit cards to fill the gap. What does this mean for providers? More card data on networks that may not be secure. When providers capture card data in person or over the phone, they are transmitting the data across their network, which is a target-rich environment for hackers. Even if a provider's network is segmented, their dedicated servers are still at risk of breach. OnPlan offers the first PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution that secures patient card data by preventing transmission over your network. Providers who implement OnPlan's P2PE solution virtually eliminate their risk of breach while dramatically lowering PCI audit requirements and cost. This not only protects providers but gives patients the peace of mind that their card data is safe.
3. compete for business
In our consumer-driven society, savvy customers shop around for the best deal—especially on major purchases. These expenditures are no longer limited to cars, homes, and luxury items. Smart consumers shop around for the provider that is the best fit for them and their families by weighing variables like cost, quality of care, staff credentials, convenience, and facility amenities. Many providers market themselves based on what they feel is most important to their demographic. But America's demographic is changing. Even hospitals in more affluent areas now serve high deductible patients who are in need of payment assistance. Offer your patients easy payment terms that automatically combine separate services into a single monthly payment (which counts toward their annual deductible), and they will come back to you again and again. One call from collections will likely send them running to your nearest competitor.
High deductible health plans are here to stay. And with the rise in healthcare premiums, more patients will be looking for help. Providers can thrive by offering payment support to their high deductibles, ensuring patient card data is secure, and factoring in the increasing number of high deductible patients when creating business development and marketing plans. OnPlan Health offers unparalleled card security and payment support for patients with high deductibles. For more information, click to contact OnPlan Health or call us at 224-544-5587.
Click below for a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation with OnPlan CEO, John Talaga, on how to best position your self-managed payment plans, loan financing programs, and early out options.