The health care payments industry seems to be changing at an ever-increasing pace. With updated sector regulations as well, it can be difficult for providers to keep up. However, according to a recent report, as more responsibility falls onto consumers, it is even more critical for providers to find the right way to manage every change.
InstaMed’s “2013 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report” found that the nation’s health care payments market is forecast to hit $2.7 trillion for both payer and consumer payments. However, results also showed that at least 25 to 50 cents on every health care dollar is still spent on administrative costs.
InstaMed CEO Bill Marvin said in a statement that his organization’s position in the market puts it in “a front-row seat to witness the drastic changes happening in the healthcare payments industry.” Marvin added that the goal of the report was to leverage the vantage point to educate the industry and promote change to improve efficiency in health care payments.
One key point found in the report is that 67 percent of providers indicated that they saw an increase in patient responsibility. However, 76 percent of providers said that it took more than one month to collect from a patient. As explained by a recent Health IT Outcomes article, this is likely due to many providers still rely on paper-based, manual payment collection and posting processes.
Along those same lines, the report showed that 79 percent of patients would prefer to pay online through their provider or health plan website. The news source suggested that providers need to work with payers to help consumers take control of their health care payments.
The report concluded that the health care payments industry is continuing to evolve, and that many providers and payers have already taken steps to accommodate for these changes.
“In order for all stakeholders to thrive as the industry evolves, they must be aware of how the industry is changing, acutely understand the challenges and apply process and policy changes to prepare,” the report read. “Efficiency, payment best practices, interoperability and security will be crucial to all industry stakeholders as the industry continues to change.”
Last month, PYMNTS.com discussed how some providers are turning to bundled payment options. For example, contend bundled payments, unlike fee-for-service billing, can create incentives for doctors and hospitals to work together to keep costs low. Additionally, “patients and insurers also know upfront what care will cost, which is usually much less than the sum of all those separate bills.”