Docs must help patients take responsibility for medical costs

Docs must help patients take responsibility for medical costs

(HealthDay)—Given that increasing numbers of patients have high-deductible health insurance, doctors and practice staff need to help patients assume financial responsibility for costs relating to medical services and procedures, according to an article published Dec. 10 in Medical Economics.

Noting that an increasing number of patients are choosing high-deductible health insurance plans, Donna Marbury discusses the implications for doctors and small practices.

Patients with higher deductibles are responsible for higher out-of-pocket payments, and the risk that patients may not pay means these patients are potentially problematic for small practices. However, many patients forget to pay or are confused about what they owe. With the current payment method, payments are collected weeks or months after services are performed. Doctors should develop a way to calculate patient and talk about costs before procedures are carried out. Calculating payments in advance and providing patients with detailed information on costs will allow them to make payment arrangements. For patients in financial difficulty, verifying eligibility will allow them to understand their benefits.

"There needs to be internal training and education with staff about how to communicate upfront payments. Plus, there are plenty of payment plans possible that will work with with high-deductible plans," said Nate Davis, product manager with the health care information technology and management solutions company ZirMed, according to the Medical Economics article.

More information: More Information

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Health industry payment details to be publicly available

May 02, 2013

(HealthDay)—As part of the National Physician Payment Transparency Program and in compliance with a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the government will make information about financial relationships ...

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

8 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

User comments