Why Health Care Providers are Losing Money in 2019

Karen Lee

The Healthcare industry is rapidly expanding. The industry is booming unlike ever before. In fact, it has been found that the growth of healthcare jobs has outpaced any other industry position growth. In addition to that, it is expected that by 2026 the industry will have created 4 million new jobs. In 2017, health care spending reached $7.077 trillion. This number is expected to reach a whopping $8.73 trillion in 2022. Will of this said, it is clear to all that there is no shortage of growth in the healthcare industry. It is absolutely booming. It is ever-expanding and nearly every citizen in the country will be a healthcare consumer at one point or another. So, does this mean that ABA, mental health, and medical providers are making infinitely more money than two years ago? Shouldn’t your practice be expanding more and more? Unfortunately, this massive growth in the healthcare industry has also been accompanied by massive confusion in both providers and consumers. Surely you have experienced this!

Healthcare Consumer Confusion is Hurting Providers

Consumers in the healthcare industry are getting more and more confused by their healthcare bills, leading to a low percentage of consumers making payments. Consumers will get bills that have an unexpected name, price, and on top of it all- they don’t understand what they are even paying for. At this point, consumers often choose not to pay the bill or avoid it for a while longer. Think about it- many of us (not all, but many) would react the same way if we had received a strange bill from a company, we were not familiar with or if it was 3x the amount that we were expecting. 

Problem #1: Health Care Bills are More Expensive Than 5 Years Ago

Both deductibles and premiums are way more expensive than they were previously. In fact, in the last 1-2 years, there has been a 212% increase in deductibles. Because many consumers are used to a certain price when they go to their doctor/ mental health/ ABA provider, many don’t understand why the bills are so much more expensive in 2018/2019. This trend in pricing is something that is out of the provider’s control. However, providers can control patient expectation of bills. Ponderosa can coach your practice and your patients on why a bill is a certain cost and what you can do about it (payment plans, how to make a payment, why a bill costs a certain amount).

Problem #2: Providers Cannot Answer Patient Questions About Billing

Patients will often call their provider if they get a confusing bill in their mail. Here is where the biggest problem lies- providers, receptionists, etc. are often unable to answer patient questions regarding billing. It is important to offer patients a resource that can answer any of their bill concerns. This gives your patients a sense of ease and increases your chance of getting a payment right away. Providers and their employees have enough to focus on and those questions would best be directed to a specialized line than can answer any insurance, deductible, or payment questions. Consumer satisfaction in the health industry is taking a huge downfall.  This is one way that your practice can stand out competitors down the road. Did you know that 87% of happy customers will recommend your services? Not only will you have happier patients with a billing service, you will also be able to grow your practice much faster via personal recommendations.

Problem #3:  There is a Significant Increase in Patient Responsibility

In the past couple of years, providers have seen a 69% increase in patient responsibility. This means that patients are more responsible to take care of their own health bills and/or figure out a payment plan if needed. There is limited handholding or support along the way. At the same time, we live in an on-demand world than requires convenience for business success.

Example: InstaMed is an extremely convenient way to pay for a transaction. InstaMed now offers every patient payment platform possible! Soon everyone will hop on the InstaMed pay bus. The importance of convenience in the health care world is greater than ever before. It is critical for your practice to offer greater convenience when paying their health care bills. Ponderosa serves as a convenient and efficient place where they can get any bill questions answered.

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