In navigating American healthcare, including behavioral healthcare, most Americans have a decidedly unpleasant experience. Financial considerations are almost always the root of the problem as there is a lack of practical, accessible payment solutions for patients. When a patient is surprised by unexpected medical bills, or the bills are more than a patient can afford, it creates a breakdown in the patient-provider relationship.
The American healthcare experience, including behavioral health, for the average patient, is generally complex, confusing, frustrating, and overall unpleasant experience. Is it any wonder that the relationships between patients and providers are so distant or that unpaid medical bills are now a major source of debt collection for American consumers? There is a solution for providers who wish to foster a healthy, productive relationship with their patients.
The American healthcare system is a nightmare for most consumers. Patients often are left to navigate complex and confusing insurance plans in a frustrating attempt to understand coverage and co-pays. For providers attempting to deliver healthcare but also run a business, they are largely unaware of the patient's financial experience. They generate a bill, collect co-pays, file insurance, and ultimately pursue collections of outstanding patient financial responsibility.
Technology has changed how almost every industry operates, and the change has been rapid and far-reaching. Healthcare is no different. In general, people are resistant to change on both individual and institutional levels. Usually, a law must be implemented and enforced, or a strong incentive offered to get large groups of people to change how they do things.
The American healthcare system is touted as one of the best in the world, able to provide treatments and medications that are not possible in other countries. However, accessing that superlative healthcare is not easy for the average American, as social and economic barriers to healthcare access prevent all but the wealthiest and best insured from enjoying the full spectrum of available services. The behavioral healthcare industry is no exception to this.
Healthcare, including behavioral healthcare, is a highly complex environment for patients and it normally does not deliver a pleasant patient financial experience. Complicated bills, mountains of paperwork, and no one is there to help you navigate the chaos; and then there are the collection calls.
Obviously, Healthcare needs a new playbook when it comes to patient financial management. Unfortunately, in most healthcare companies there is no patient financial management department, or even a Director, manager, or Vice president of Patient Financial Management. In more simple terms, healthcare is broken down into three segments, admission, clinical care, and billing. Each segment has a primary objective, unfortunately being responsible for the patient’s financial experience isn’t one of them. If no one within the healthcare system owns patient financial management from start to finish, the patient financial experience will always be something less than.
Every healthcare executive is familiar with the term revenue cycle management (RCM), but surprisingly few know what patient financial management (PFM) is. That is truly unfortunate because patient financial management is a system of revenue planning grounded in transparency and preparation that has been proven to convert nearly all unrecoverable patient financial responsibility. PFM companies like FinPay have demonstrated time and time again that their innovative pre-care patient engagement strategies work.
As the influence and presence of millennials grows throughout society in the United States, so does the importance of the healthcare industry taking notice of their unique preferences.
The majority of millennials believe that the healthcare system is inherently flawed, and their consistent and agreed upon dissatisfaction with the healthcare industry has been a key concern for industry players looking to protect and ensure their long-term sustainability, as well as the future health of Americans.