Have you ever delayed medical treatment due to financial or other reasons? If so, you’re not alone. According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one in three Americans have avoided medical treatment due to cost. It’s important to understand that delaying needed medical care impacts not only the patient but also creates problems for their families and for employers.
The landscape of behavioral healthcare in the United States is laden with obstacles and difficulties, especially for patients. Accessing healthcare presents particular challenges to those needing mental health services, and even when available, understanding and affording it often present obstacles to those seeking treatment.
This bears repeating: good patient financial experiences should be standard practice. Currently, they are anything but standard.
Sadly, for many people, patient experience is a matter of life and death. Every decision made in the healthcare sector (whether it’s how frequently a patient should be seen, or when to administer treatment) has an impact far beyond that decision point. And every provider, naturally, wants the best outcomes for their patients. Achieving these outcomes requires consideration of every aspect of the patient experience — from the bank to the bedside.
It is a tragedy when an important healthcare facility serving a needy community has to shut its doors and place the lives of those it serves at risk. Unfortunately, continuing financial losses are forcing the closure of Hahnemann University Hospital, one of the nation’s most historic medical facilities. Hahnemann Hospital, which primarily serves some of the poorest residents of Philadelphia, might have avoided this unhappy outcome if it had implemented a patient financial management program that optimized pre-care patient intervention to strengthen revenue.