“Patients are paying more and more for their healthcare services, making effective cost-of-care conversations a skill that providers need to successfully treat patients,” Jacqueline LaPointe writes over at RevCycle Intelligence. “Health plans with deductibles are becoming commonplace. A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) shows that about 85 percent of covered workers had a plan with a deductible in 2018 compared to 59 percent ten years prior. With the rise in deductibles, patients are spending significantly more on out-of-pocket healthcare costs compared to the recent past. The average deductible has risen by over 150 percent from 2009 to 2018, KFF reports. Patients and their providers are now finding healthcare affordability to be a major challenge. Nearly three-quarters of providers in an Instamed survey reported an increase in patient financial responsibility, and total hospital revenue attributable to patients has increased by 88 percent from 2012 to 2017, TransUnion recently reported. Providers are now relying more on their patients for revenue capture. But their workflows do not align with the new trend in healthcare. For example, only 35 percent of patients in a recent Connance survey said their providers contacted them prior to treatment to discuss patient financial responsibility. Having effective cost-of-care conversations with patients is a new necessity for providers. Being able to discuss patient financial responsibility is not only key to improving patient collections but also keeping patients healthy. One in four patients a recent West Health Institute/NORC at the University of Chicago national poll said they have skipped recommended medical tests or treatment due to cost.” Jacqueline LaPointe, “Strategies for Effective Cost-of-Care Conversations with Patients,”
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.