One of the best ways to engage patients about their financial obligations to your facility is to provide payment options, giving them a measure of choice and control. Welcome back to Secure Bill Pay's video blog, where we're diving into the importance of easy-to-use options for patient payments.
Enjoyable might not actually be the right word, but at Man Vs. Debt, Joan Otto recently wrote a piece on the crazy idea that paying bills could be a delight, rather than a dreaded chore. What can make the difference between drudgery and enjoyment for a patient paying? As Otto lays it out, it's not just about having money, as even those who can afford to pay their bills just plain don't like doing it. It's about having the right attitude towards organization and control.
Numerous years ago, patients paid “reasonable and customary” rates based upon a Chargemaster. The Chargemaster, also known as Charge Description Master (CDM), as defined by Wikipedia, is a comprehensive listing of items billable to a patient or a patient's health insurance provider. The Chargemaster typically serves as the starting point for negotiations with patients and health insurance providers of the amount of money that will actually be paid for the services. It was once described as "the central mechanism of the revenue cycle" for health care. Nowadays, health care is stuck in a complex, antiquated, reimbursement methodology designed by, and for, the insurance industry.
A couple of generations ago, the local doctor was paid via barter. This could have been anything from labor, like painting a fence, to livestock, like chickens. As recently as 2010, a Nevada politician suggested we return to the barter system in healthcare.