As Patients Pay a Greater Share of Medical Bills, New Survey of Medical Practices and Billing Companies Reveals the Growing Challenge to the Entire Healthcare Industry

Medical Billing Payment

In the next five years, patients will spend over $2 trillion on out-of-pocket healthcare costs. This increased financial burden on patients and shift in responsibility are rapidly creating unprecedented medical debt and challenges in billing. Inbox Health recently conducted a survey of medical billing companies and independent practices to explore the top challenges associated with managing patient responsibility, identify how patient billing is being managed today and spot trends on how to improve the process in the future. The complete survey, “Perspectives on Managing Patient Responsibility,” is now available for download. Inbox Health will also host a webinar, “How to Master Patient A/R in a Modernized Healthcare Era,” on February 16 at 1pm EST to provide further insights and analysis from the data.

Patient responsibility is a growing problem and driven by several key factors, including:

  • The increase in enrollment in high-deductible health plans, which accounted for 53% of the nation’s workforce in 2020.1
  • The number of individuals who are uninsured (12.5%) or inadequately insured (43%).2
  • Confusion over medical bills (48% of patients have been late on a payment).3
  • The impact of unexpected medical bills – more than half of respondents in a 2020 survey received a bill for a service they expected to be covered but wasn’t.3

The Inbox Health survey on managing patient responsibility reveals several key findings, such as:

  • Over 50% of medical practices have had a patient leave their practice because of a perceived billing issue.
  • Collecting patient balances is the number one patient responsibility challenge for both practices (57%) and billing companies (77%).
  • Fewer than half of practices are satisfied with the way patient billing is currently managed.
  • A shift in patient experience expectations and increase in patient consumerism, including the demand for adoption of digital technology by healthcare providers.

For practices and billing companies alike, respondents to the Inbox Health survey cited that better communication channels (email, text, IVR) are the best way to improve patient collections. In the next 12 months, 48% of practices would like to offer text support.

Adoption of digital technology is a significant part of the patient experience. In fact, a 2019 survey found that 49% of patients are frustrated about their provider’s lack of adoption of digital administrative processes.4 The pandemic has further revealed cracks in existing systems now exacerbated by personnel shortages. Effective technology solutions can ease the burden on staff and provide efficient ways to manage patient responsibility while providing a positive patient experience.

“This report validates the challenge increased patient responsibility is having on the healthcare industry,” said Blake Walker, CEO of Inbox Health. “Patients expect effective, modern and timely communication alongside a smooth and efficient billing process. Advancing the technology used in patient billing and communication is a key factor in the future success of healthcare practices and billing companies and ensures that patients continue to receive the care that they need and feel valued by their providers.”

To review the complete report and gain further insights into the data, register for the webinar  and download the complete survey report, “Perspectives on Managing Patient Responsibility.”

About Inbox Health

Inbox Health addresses one of the fastest-growing problems in healthcare—the challenge of patient A/R. Built for medical billers, Inbox Health automates patient billing and patient payments and modernizes the patient support experience. Inbox Health improves patient engagement by providing clear medical bills immediately after service, choice of payment methods and communication channels, and fast, empathetic support through the phone and live chat. By improving the patient experience, billers see an increase in profitability, cash flow, and collection speeds. With Inbox Health, billing companies and medical practices report a 60% increase in collection speeds in the first 60 days. Inbox Health provides billing teams an automated, streamlined platform that cuts the amount of time spent on patient A/R in half, reduces paper statement costs, and results in fewer patient phone calls. Inbox Health currently serves over 2,000 healthcare practices and over 2 million patients. Headquartered in New Haven, Conn., Inbox Health was recently named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. More information can be found at www.inboxhealth.com.

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