By Christopher Wolfington
As the price of health care services continues to rise and debt attributed to health costs is reaching record highs, more patients are now empowering themselves to take better control of their health care and payment accountability.
Due to health care reform and regulatory changes in both the health and insurance industries, financial accountability is now largely a consumer responsibility. Along with more debt, this has also resulted in increased pressure on hospitals to provide more information to patients than ever before and become more open and accommodating to consumer enquiries as well as provide them with more access to point-of-service payment options and information.
While you can’t anticipate all of your health costs, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your care experience and holding both yourself, and your healthcare providers accountable.
In order to take charge of your health care accountability and maintain interaction with your healthcare providers, it’s important to stay knowledgeable and up-to-date on your unique healthcare experience. Here is a quick tip to making sure you are practicing great health care payment accountability and taking charge of your financial and physical health:
Communicate And Ask Questions
Most patients do not fully communicate and ask questions throughout their care, especially when it comes to costs. Whether it’s to your doctor, nurse, or insurance agent, you should make sure you are communicating with all of your care providers. They should be able to provide you with useful, knowledgeable information. They may also be able to guide you to digital patient portals that can provide you with further tools and information to help you schedule, plan, and understand your payments.
Many people are also afraid to question their doctors and are surprised later by higher than expected bills and unforeseen costs that were not communicated to them up front. While you may not have a medical degree and cannot choose your own course of care and treatment, you are still allowed to know exactly what choices are being made, and how they will affect your financial health.
You are in charge of yourself and your own health, so don’t be afraid to ask if tests are necessary, and how they could affect or change the approach to your treatment. Too much testing is sometimes ordered simply out of routine in order to save time but can increase your overall costs.
Here at FinPay, we believe that patients should empower themselves to better understand their healthcare expenses so they can make the smartest choices for their physical and financial health. That starts with simple understanding, which is why our specialists prioritize helping patients understand their healthcare costs.
The Patient Financial Management Institute(PFMI) is also a strong third party source that consumers can access online to get valuable information and insight for a better patient financial experience.
Once you understand how the healthcare cost system works, you will be more comfortable asking the right questions, and creating the most affordable experience without compromising your care.
Christopher Wolfington, Chairman and CEO of FinPay, LLC, is a business leader and entrepreneur with over 29 years of experience in consumer and financial services. Mr. Wolfington is currently living in Philadelphia, PA and continues to use his entrepreneurial talent to identify key opportunities and solutions in high growth markets.