Americans are confused about their medical bills.  Here's how the healthcare industry can help - MedCity News

surprise billing, medical bills,

Nearly 40% of Americans struggle to understand their medical bills, recently research shown But respondents also shared several ways providers and insurers can step in to make bills less confusing.

The survey was published on Friday by AKASA, a developer of AI for healthcare operations. It was conducted online in March by YouGov and included responses from 2,026 American adults.

When asked what they were most frustrated about when it came to medical bills, 29% or respondents said they couldn’t figure out what they were being billed for. In addition, 27% said they weren’t sure if they could pay the bill, 24% said they didn’t receive the bill until weeks after receiving the health service, and 20% said they weren’t sure if the final bill would be the same , calculated by the supplier.

“These results show that medical billing is still a black box for patients,” Amy Raymond, vice president of revenue cycle operations, said in the report. “The onus is on healthcare organizations – both providers and insurers – to make medical billing less painful for patients who may fear going into debt and avoid seeking medical care.”

How can providers and insurers help? Survey participants shared several ways:

  • About 27% said it would be helpful to receive a call from the doctor’s office or hospital staff before the medical procedure explaining payment terms and available payment plans.
  • Another 12% said they would like an online calculator that could show ranges of procedure costs.
  • About 11% said it would be helpful to receive an email from their insurer that goes through the bill after receiving care.
  • About 9% said they would like the payer to call them and walk them through the bill.
  • Another 9% say they want access to live online customer service through their health plan’s website.
  • Additionally, 8% want a call from the doctor’s office or hospital staff to explain the bill after services are received.

A strategy for healthcare leaders when it comes to medical billing is to automate certain processes so revenue cycle professionals have more time to work with patients, Raymond said.

“Automation makes it possible to eliminate much of the tedious work of revenue cycle professionals, freeing them to become patient advocates,” said Raymond. β€œFor example, automating authorization status frees them up to help initiate authorization in a more timely manner while preventing appointments from being canceled. Staff can also take on more patient-focused activities, such as financial advice, to provide a better overall experience.”

Photo: KLH49, Getty Images

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *