Patients are the new payers in healthcare

TransUnion Healthcare’s Revenue Cycle leader Jonathan Wiik will shed light on evolving healthcare payment landscape where patients now represent a third of billing revenue.
By Beth Jones Sanborn
09:53 AM
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Revenue cycle

It’s a new world when it comes to who is paying for medical care. In the words of Jonathan Wiik, Principal And Lead Of Revenue Cycle Management Solutions for  TransUnion Healthcare, the patient is the new payer. 

The balance of billing revenue has shifted significantly, with patients now accounting for 30 percent of healthcare revenue on the back end. For instance, a hospital bills $1000 for a service. Nowadays, about $300 of that will actually be paid by the patient. 

The evolution has been driven by increased utilization of high-deductible health plans as well as higher copays, which in turn have fueled trends in consumerism, demand for transparency and calls for affordability.

With many providers focusing on patient experience, it’s important for them to understand that the biggest dissatisfier is patient bills, Wiik said.

“You can do everything perfectly but when the bill comes the patient could still have some pretty negative things to say if that process wasn’t engaged and focused on them. It’s important for providers to engage patients early through whatever mechanism they can.”

He said a lot of providers aren’t using mobile technology now that’s what consumers want. Engaging patients early, protect earned revenue through a process of financial clearance, and the reality that revenue leakage is going to happen if providers can’t position themselves to engage patients early will all be key takeaways.

“It’s important to meet the patient as a consumer.”

Wiik will be speaking at the HIMSS and Healthcare Finance Revenue Cycle Solutions Summit at HIMSS18 at 2:30 p.m. March 5 in the Wynn Hotel.

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Twitter: @BethJSanborn
Email the writer: beth.sanborn@himssmedia.com