The United States has a population of more than 330 million, supported by the most complex healthcare system in the world. Unlike many developed countries, it does not provide its citizens with universal health care.
The healthcare system reflects the intertwining relationships between providers, payers, and patients receiving care. However, everyone can’t readily access healthcare due to the barriers such as expensive treatments, outstanding balances, and other reasons.
Don't Let Healthcare Costs Burden You Anymore
Unlock the Secret to Flexible Payment Options with Affordable Healthcare Payment Plans
Hence, the government should think about it!
Read what the government should do to improve patient access to healthcare and eliminate some of the significant challenges.
Challenges Patients Face Due to the Existing Healthcare System
Many people rely on private healthcare their employers provide. Further, some individuals have healthcare access to public plans that government subsidizes.
However, they face common challenges listed below:
1. High Cost
Around 40% of Americans skipped medical care in 2022 due to cost concerns. Inflating costs for medical care are making healthcare facilities out of reach for many. Also, costs vary with different geographical areas. For instance, medical services may cost more in metropolitan centers such as New York over rural regions such as Salt Lake City.
2. Outstanding Accounts
Around 55% of US households have medical debt. Underinsured and uninsured patients carry high levels of medical debt. Even insured patients have trouble paying for medical care. It is because they fail to pay medical bills in one go. The increase in outstanding accounts restrains growth for healthcare businesses.
3. No Credit Approvals
Patients urgently seeking treatment might not get credit approvals if they have pending dues from earlier. It becomes difficult for medical providers to help people with low credit. Therefore, unapproved credit prevents patients from accessing healthcare services.
4. Impolite Response
Patients don't prefer seeking medical attention if they feel disrespected while communicating with healthcare professionals for debt recovery. It emphasizes the lack of trained employees in cultural competency, making patients think twice before opting for healthcare services.
5. Lack of Trust
Patients don't feel comfortable sharing their details and paying through the payment modes that healthcare providers often offer. Also, they feel there’s less transparency.
Accordingly, the US government needs to improve the healthcare system to help patients overcome such challenges. Else, they might live with undue pain and conditions that tend to worsen over time.
Role of Government in Improving Healthcare Access
57% of Americans believe the government is responsible for their healthcare coverage. Here are four ways the government can help improve healthcare access and quality-
A. Control Healthcare Costs
8 in 10 adults skip or delay care or medications due to cost. Most developed countries, such as the US, control healthcare costs through government intervention. This can help negotiate costs for medical equipment, checkups, medicines, patient visits, and hospital care.
25% of healthcare spending stems from government activities, such as scheduling, billing, and insurance filing. But these costs can come down by automating repetitive tasks, developing payer-provider communications platforms, and executing industrywide changes.
B. Create Healthcare Programs
Healthcare costs don't include only treatment costs but also transportation, taxes, medications, and more. Thus, the government can help patients lessen their burden.
Establishing different medical programs to meet patients' needs can help. People with low income can get treatment once the government brings in well-planned healthcare schemes.
C. Use of Artificial Intelligence
AI is leading the healthcare industry. Payment plan software, such as Denefits, helps medical staff by automating administrative tasks like billing and collection, improving the overall patient experience. The government should push this to ease healthcare providers’ work and accessibility for patients.
D. Access to Flexible Payment Plans
Government should implement a sustainable healthcare system to meet every patient's requirements. Thus, they should support healthcare providers offering flexible payment plans to patients, improving the situation drastically.
Flexible payment is the new wave in the healthcare landscape. Medical businesses can create payment plans with software like Denefits to help patients access and pay for care.
How Should Government Encourage Healthcare Providers for Payment Automation?
More than 66% of healthcare and hospital organizations employ automated systems. And government must emphasize increasing this figure.
It is because doctors can use automation systems to manage patient appointments, consultations, and collections. Moreover, creating medical invoices, sending reminders, and improving cash flow is not a cakewalk for healthcare providers.
Going through piles of files for information to process bills and ensuring timely patient payments are error-prone and time-consuming tasks.
Therefore, the government must support healthcare providers in accessing the latest technology. Providers using payment plan software offering flexibility can help patients access healthcare easily.
The government's responsibility is to protect and influence people's interests, including the delivery of high-quality healthcare. So it needs to preserve the interests of its citizens by regulating the healthcare industry.
Further, the government must relieve patients of medical expenses by supporting the growing use of automated systems and payment tools. Payment plan management software is becoming the most discussed topic. Such software bridges the gap between the total amount of medical bills and how patients have to pay in full or partial.
The goal of making healthcare accessible requires strong partnerships among state, federal, and local governments and the private sector. It can ease ways for people looking for treatments without feeling stressed.