Consumerism’s Impact on Healthcare Organizations

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Navicure, a provider of cloud-based healthcare claims management, patient payment and data analytics solutions, announced key findings from its recent survey on how healthcare organizations are responding to patient engagement and consumerism.

Deployed in August 2016 in conjunction with Porter Research, 63 percent of survey participants reported healthcare consumerism is affecting their patients and organizations, specifically with patients proactively asking about their cost of care and becoming more involved in deciding their medical treatment.

A large percentage of survey participants were healthcare executives (37%), practice administrators (34%) and billing managers (28%). Respondents represented a broad range of specialties and sizes: 33 percent from organizations with one to 10 providers; 34 percent with 11 to 50 providers; 12 percent with 51 to 100 providers; and 21 percent with more than 100 providers.

Key study findings centered on themes of price transparency, financial responsibility and payment options, including:

  • Payment options and price transparency are top-of-mind for patients. Of the most common questions patients ask about their financial responsibility, respondents noted 58 percent inquire about payment plans, and 56 percent ask about total treatment cost. Other top questions include asking what balance is due (53%) and what payment options are available (43%).
  • Patient confusion with payment responsibilities is a top price transparency challenge. The majority of respondents (67%) reported that patients do not understand their payment responsibility versus their insurance provider’s responsibility. Further, 42 percent of respondents noted that estimating prices for services represents another top barrier.
  • The majority of healthcare organizations do not use key tools to make payments more manageable for both their organization and patients. The study found only 33 percent of respondents use patient bill estimation tools, and a mere 26 percent of organizations send patients electronic statements. Finally, only 25 percent of healthcare providers securely store debit or credit card information on file.

“Patient payment responsibility will continue to increase given the steady rise of healthcare costs and insurance premiums,” said Jim Denny, founder and CEO of Navicure. “This study proves that patient consumerism is further complicating healthcare economics for both patients and their providers, but there is good news: there are solutions that exist today that can make healthcare cost transparency and payments simpler.”

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