Impact of High Deductible Plans on Your Cash Flow
Recent changes in the Affordable Health Care Act have made it so that every American has access to professional medical care. With the health care reform in full effect, every American citizen is eligible for health care and must buy into the market due to binding laws. Many people are choosing high deductible plans, which will have a big impact on medical providers in the early part of each calendar year. As the new year starts, patients will be responsible for a larger portion of their healthcare costs, putting strain on physicians and other medical providers who will need to collect these payments from their patients. Small businesses in the healthcare sector will need to stockpile working capital for the start of the year to manage through this difficult period.
What the Affordable Health Care Act Means
The AHCA reform was passed with the intention of providing medical services to every American citizen. It is because of these laws that blood work and testing for diabetes and other disorders that are prevalent in American society are more accessible now than ever before. Despite its benefits, the AHCA also can be a menace to both patients and medical providers alike.
What most people noticed during the first year of the health care reform program is a sharp increase in insurance rates. These increases were accompanied by higher deductible costs across the board. These deductibles must be paid in order to reap the full benefits of any given healthcare program. This, obviously, is a double edged sword for patients because of the fact that they are paying a monthly premium and still must pay the deductibles. These costs place financial strain on many patients which brings us to our second topic.
Why High Deductibles Should Concern Medical Practitioners
The health care plans that are given to Americans have very steep premiums. This sharp increase means that many Americans, particularly those who are healthy, are struggling with the high costs since they well barely have to use this services that they, by law, must buy in to. Because of this many patients are not going to the doctor as often and when they do they are loading all of their medical issues onto the doctor’s shoulders and expecting immediate results. Patients are worried about costs more than anything else. Many people are barely getting by in this economy and having to pay hundreds of dollars in medical expenses each month takes a toll on finances.
Patients are easily scared away by co-pay prices that are too high in conjunction to their care, treatment or healthcare plan which is why some patients come in to be seen and never come back again. Understanding what healthcare means for today’s patient is remembering that patients are obligated to paying monthly medical coverage as well as paying for medications, services and regular check-up appointments. Patients also struggle to make required payments to healthcare providers and hospitals, putting strain on those businesses.
On the other hand (the medical practitioner side), patients who are weary about costs cause panic and anguish in the work place. Without prompt payment you will fall behind on paying the bills and getting work done in the office. Clearly despite the AHCA giving each American access to health care, each American is not able to hold on firmly to their care simply because of the absorbent financial woes it causes.
How You Can Counter the High Deductible Dilemma
As a medical practitioner, one of the main things you can do to prevent distrust and nonpayment with patients is to be as transparent as possible. If your patient is coming in for treatment or requires some kind of medical attention, you want to be completely up front and honest about how much this will cost.
Secondly, it is vital to be vocal about other options and their costs so that the patient doesn’t feel like you are chasing after their wallets. Many new practices learn how not being transparent can hurt your practice in the long run. Telling a patient with chronic migraines that they need an MRI without speaking about other treatment options or payment will more than likely leave the patient with a big bill and dissatisfaction with their service.
Thirdly, it is imperative to have backup finances on hand at the start of each year. Deferred payment is not uncommon in the medical field. In fact, a patient that is not satisfied with their treatment is one of the top reasons why medical practices are not paid and why patients do not return. These missed payments from patients can put health care businesses behind in a way that is detrimental to the success of the company. Planning for slow or no payment is vital for a flourishing medical practice.
As the calendar turns to the new deductible year in January, it is prudent for healthcare businesses to explore stockpiling working capital. Provider Web Capital can help by offering a financing line you can draw to cover expenses while you work to collect fees from your patients. We can provide financing from $10,000 to $250,000 or more in 1-2 business days. Repayments are made as you receive payments from third party revenue sources, not on a fixed schedule. Call Provider Web Capital today to speak with a Senior Business Advisor that can help you grow and manage your business.