Healthcare Price Transparency and its Effects on Your Business

Posted by Norman Woolworth | Dec 31, 2018 10:30:54 AM

Healthcare price transparency laws have become increasingly popular in the U.S. Indeed, 29 states currently have at least one law on the books related to healthcare providers detailing costs. There is also a growing surge of bipartisan support for more, and better, details to help patients determine value, not to mention the fact that CMS requirement for hospitals to publish a list of charges online will go live on January 1.

But what these laws mean for specific hospitals and other healthcare providers isn’t always so clear and can vary widely state to state. For instance, Colorado requires providers to post paid amounts for inpatient and outpatient services while Kentucky requires hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to submit data on cost, quality, and outcomes.

Unintended Revenue Cycle Impacts

Over the past several months, conversations with our Patient Lending customers about these laws have uncovered some unintentional impacts of the laws. One of the most interesting is the addition to revenue cycle time and accounts receivable (AR) days.

How so? Under much of the new legislation, a payment plan offered to one must be offered to all. Meaning that if your billing department determines that one of your customers would be a fine candidate for a no-interest payment plan collecting $20 a month, then the provider has to make it clear to all patients that they too qualify for such generous terms.

Even if a customer isn’t particularly informed about healthcare price transparency laws, they can certainly see a good deal when it’s right in front of them. In addition, delaying healthcare bills for a period of time with no interest charged is a good deal, even with patients who are equipped to pay in full.

The unintended revenue cycle impact is clear: increased AR days. No provider wants that.

Favorable Terms, Favorable Results

Epic River has worked closely with our customers to develop a Patient Lending product that mitigates any healthcare price transparency issues by being of benefit to both healthcare providers and patients alike. The terms of our innovative product are favorable to patients seeking healthcare loans, and feature low, fixed-interest rates and 100% qualification rates, regardless of income, citizenship, or credit history. In fact, the terms are far more favorable than any offered by a no-interest plan that ends up on a compounding interest credit card.

And for providers? Providers get paid up front and in full the cost of the patient’s healthcare bill. That’s right: zero AR days.

Epic River can do this because we’ve pioneered a platform that connects healthcare providers like yours with local banks to create and service medical loans. The bank pays the provider in full and takes over all of the loan servicing, meaning that you, as a healthcare provider, can focus on treating patients, not tracking down payments.

Our Patient Lending program gives healthcare providers a payment solution they can confidently offer to all patients and display in keeping with healthcare price transparency laws in their states. If you’d like to learn more about our platform, which is offered at no cost to healthcare providers, please contact us today and we’ll set up a quick demonstration.

Topics: price transparency, healthcare costs, healthcare finance, Healthcare Finance Online

Written by Norman Woolworth

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