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High Deductible Health Plans Adversely Impacting Medical Practitioners 27-Jan-2015

With more and more employers opting for affordable health care plans, the percentage of people signing up for High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) is increasing. According to a census report released by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the average annual growth of HDHP enrollment was 15% since 2011. This is a massive increase, and enrollments are set to head north in the future.

At first glance, this increase in enrollment looks like good news and the fact that Americans are serious about health care. But dig deep and the truth is something else. According to a report released by The Commonwealth Fund , employees are unable to maximize the benefits of employer based health-insurance like HDHP. One of the biggest reasons behind this inability to benefit from health insurance is the rising cost of premiums. Another reason is the rising cost of health care, which means lots of people cannot afford to pay the deductible amount. 

There are cases where patients are actually delaying necessary health procedures because they are covered by HDHP, which demands they reach into their pockets to make an upfront payment that, very often, is substantial.

As can be imagined, this has taken a toll on the financials of medical practitioners. Patients covered under HDHP, many a times, do not pay their deductibles. At times, they postpone payments or make staggered payments. This does nothing for the profitability of their healthcare practice. Research shows there is a 14% drop in health care spending of people who have shifted to HDHP. Health care providers are at the receiving end of this decreased spending.  

These health care providers, therefore, have to come up with a solution for HDHP. As more people sign up for this health plan, they might find themselves in a financial soup, if they cannot put in place a mechanism that accelerates payments from people who are covered under HDHP. The focus must be on ensuring that the patient’s reluctance to pay the deductible amount doesn’t impact them financially.  The idea is to ensure that these patients don’t act as a barrier to their cash flow.

It’s important that medical practitioners start looking for long term solutions for this problem; something that allows them to take care of their patients and at the same time, ensure a seamless billing process vis-à-vis patients covered under HDHP.

For Media Inquiries Contact:
James Riviezzo


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