High deductible health plans (HDHPs) are becoming increasingly popular, and as a result, physicians are seeing an increase in patient responsibility balances. This is problematic because physicians now must rely on patient payment solutions rather than insurance reimbursements to keep their practices afloat.

Providers need to devise strategies for collecting on these overdue amounts. What is a patient responsibility balance, and how can healthcare providers get better at collecting on these bills?

Patient Responsibility: Overview

Patient responsibility refers to the portion of a patient’s medical cost that is their obligation to pay rather than their insurance company. Those without medical coverage, for instance, are liable for paying the full cost of any treatment they receive. With an HDHP, the patient is responsible for paying a larger portion of their medical costs until the deductible is met.

Patients are increasingly opting for HDHPs with the expectation that they won’t need any medical care throughout the year. Since they realize needing to see their doctor more often than they anticipated, they wind up spending more money on healthcare than they had budgeted for.

How Do You Figure It Out?

With the correct tools, establishing financial accountability for a patient is easy. Providers can calculate a patient’s portion of the bill with the help of medical billing software equipped with a prior authorization tool and patient cost estimator.

To determine a patient’s out-of-pocket costs, physicians previously had to either wait for a claim denial or spend time on the phone with the patient’s insurance company. This may be calculated in a matter of seconds with the help of high-quality medical billing software, allowing you to give patients accurate information about their financial responsibilities before they leave the office.

How Can You Better Collect The Payment From Patients?

1.    Plan Your Payments Ahead Of Time:

Having a prearranged payment schedule in place is always preferable for practices. The process of seeking to collect on patient responsibility balances can be streamlined with the help of a well-thought-out payment plan. It also lessens the likelihood of patients defaulting because they were unaware of their obligation.

The process of collecting patients’ financial obligation will proceed more smoothly if standard procedures are followed. Creating estimates for each patient may seem challenging given the complexity and diversity of healthcare programs, but it is necessary.

2.    Do Not Avoid Discussing Money Directly:

Although discussing patients’ financial responsibilities may be difficult, avoiding the topic is not an option. The end goal, of course, is to earn money. Make sure you’re being really specific and direct.

There are probably a number of things that are confusing and stressful for your patients, and you don’t want to add to that. Be careful to communicate the specifics of their duties in a way that is easy to understand.

3.    Make Sure The Patient Understands Their Financial Responsibilities:

Without considering the potential consequences, most practitioners don’t bother to inform patients of their payment responsibility before the services. Don’t leave your patient in the dark regarding their therapy or financial responsibility.

When patients are aware of their financial obligations in advance, they are more likely to pay them. Provide them with information regarding their co-insurance, deductibles, and co-payments.

You should ideally additionally inform the patient of the possibility of unforeseen modifications to the treatments or services, which could lead to modifications in the patient’s payment responsibilities.

4.    Allow For A Wide Variety Of Payment Methods:

Providing patients with several different ways to pay can boost revenue for your business. It demonstrates to them that you care about them as people, rather than just a source of income.

Your patients don’t need to come up with the full amount in cash before they can pay you; they can use a variety of payment methods, including debit and credit cards, checks, charge cards, and mobile payment apps. This simplifies the payment procedure for them, and your collection efforts will go more swimmingly.