What you need to know about rising healthcare costs and how to keep them from hurting your customers and your business
With healthcare costs rising and patient affordability dropping, everyone is losing. Customers are struggling to pay for necessities, patients are denying and delaying treatments, and your business is suffering the consequences. Despite the dire reality of the latest U.S. healthcare trends, Denefits is fighting for change. With game-changing advice and a transformative tool, we’re here to help you keep rising healthcare costs from hurting your customers and your business.
Let’s Look at the Numbers
Over the past nearly 50 years, national health spending has steadily increased. For most of that time, the rise seemed to match the rate of inflation; however, the tides changed in the most recent 5-10 years. As you’ll see from the chart on “Total national health expenditures, US $ Billions, 1970-2018,” health spending in the U.S. has made a drastic incline.
But what does this mean for individual families and healthcare recipients? Costs per family bring to light the true crisis. Even for patients with employer-sponsored health coverage, Investopedia reports that “a shift to high-deductible health plans (HDHPs)” since 2006 has caused higher consumer spending rates. This increase from 2006 to 2016 is illustrated in the chart below, and these costs have reportedly risen since the study. Investopedia estimates that “for 2020, the out-of-pocket maximums under the Affordable Care Act are $8,150 for individuals and $16,300 for families.”
Ultimately, patients are becoming increasingly responsible for the treatments they need, even when coverage is provided to them. According to the latest trends report from InstaMed, 69 percent of providers saw an increase in patient responsibility in 2018 as compared to 2017. Between high deductibles, rising copays, and ever-increasing coinsurance costs, customers are growing more and more wary of receiving medical treatment.
This is the true detriment to your business when healthcare costs skyrocket: patients delaying and denying treatment. As illustrated in the chart below, there has been a steady increase of adults delaying or going without medical care due to costs, particularly since 2016. Not only are you losing business from these customers, but they are, in turn, not receiving the treatments and services they need.
What This Means for You
With the numbers as they are—and no signs of improvement as of yet—how do you turn around a lose-lose situation like this? Here is our first bit of advice: Be transparent. As patients grow more responsible for paying for treatments out-of-pocket, it will be that much more important for your customers to feel comfortable in their decision-making. When it’s time to decide on accepting, delaying, or denying treatment, they need to be as informed as possible, which means you need to be open, honest, and accommodating.
But transparency isn’t always enough. Being transparent about the costs of your services doesn’t make the costs go away—or change your customer’s payment plans situation. With Denefits, you can go one enormous step further by offering customized, convenient payment plan options. At Denefits, we pride ourselves on being able to payment plans any customer with no credit checks and a 100% approval rate. Plus, we’ll guarantee your payments on the contract so you don’t have to worry about late or missed payments. Instead, you can focus on what really matters—servicing more patients with more treatments.
The rising costs of healthcare are affecting patients and service providers in the worst ways — from high out-of-pocket costs for customers to low patient retention for businesses. Instead of receiving necessary treatments, patients are delaying and denying services, making it even more difficult for you to maintain and grow your business or practice. But by combining cost transparency with custom payment plans, Denefits will help you alleviate the stress of patient payments and payment plans any customer with terms they can truly afford.