Health savings accounts are a component of medical care that continues to grow in importance. According to research company Devenir, there were 16.7 million HSAs across the U.S. by the end of 2015. That means roughly 5 percent of all Americans have HSA accounts, a number that keeps growing. Devenir said the total number of HSA accounts increased 22 percent from the end of 2014 to the end of 2015. Similarly, HSA assets grew by 25 percent over the same period.
"It's clear that HSA accounts are increasingly important element of the healthcare world."
HSA, High-Deductible Health Plans and Your Patients
It's clear that HSAs are an increasingly important element of the healthcare world and something more patients are using. Their connection with high-deductible health plans means many patients who use them have deductibles that reset when the calendar changed from 2016 to 2017. With a significant amount of direct financial responsibility involved, it's important that your healthcare facility can effectively communicate changes the new year brought to patient payments. It's also critical to highlight how your advanced payment solution can ease the burden of having to pay all costs until their insurance kicks in.
For patients who reached their deductible limit in 2016, the calendar rollover can mean some sticker shock when they realize they're once again responsible for paying every dollar up to their deductible's threshold. Patients who don't realize the reset occurred may be surprised by their first bill of the year.
This is where your front-desk staff comes into play. When patients are properly informed by your staff, they're more likely to accept the fact they have a new financial responsibility from their treatments. Your employees at the point-of-service should be able to discuss the potential advantages of HSAs and how these accounts are structured to specifically pay for medical expenses. Patients who regularly contribute to them and haven't dealt with significant medical bills may have a substantial amount of money available. Even patients who have dealt with major medical expenses will soon have money from their paychecks rolling into their HSAs.
Front-desk staff should also highlight the advantages present in your electronic payment systems. For patients who don't have the money to pay all of their bill after care is provided, automated recurring payment plans give healthcare providers assurance they'll receive their funds while giving patients more time to pay, generally making the process more flexible. This is a vitally important tool to have at your facility's disposal. processes HSA payments quickly and securely while facilitating prescheduled payment plans that protect the sensitive payment data stored for each transaction.
To learn more about high-deductible health plans and how to engage patients with them, download our infographic.