High-deductible plans need close monitoring

March 10, 2013

As high-deductible plans become more common in the patient pool, you might be wondering how the plans will affect your practice. Here's the new reality.

Q: I expect our practice soon will begin seeing more patients with high-deductible insurance plans. What should we do to prepare?

A: As patients become responsible for greater portions of their medical bills, collecting at the time of service will become more complicated. Your staff members will have to monitor each patient’s financial responsibility for the higher deductible portion of his or her coverage, as well as for copayments and uncovered services. Your staff members also will need to be aware of swipe cards being developed by some major carriers, which will function like charge cards in paying for medical bills.

It will be critical for your staff members to initiate timely monitoring of delinquent patient accounts. Have them set up a system of collection letters and other techniques so that they can follow up more quickly on unpaid patient deductibles.

The author is with Clayton L. Scroggins Associates Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Medical Economics editorial consultant. Engage with us at www.twitter.com/MedEconomics and www.facebook.com/MedicalEconomics.