It seems as though two problems will roll into the New Year with us- increasing cyber hacking risks, and the difficulty to collect payments from high deductible health plan patients.
Cyber hacking made quite a scene in 2015, with hacking of health insurers, with victims strung from Premera Blue Cross and Excellus Health Plan, as well as UCLA Health. Cyber hacking is a very threatening and huge deal that should not be taken lightly. Although it almost seems like nobody is safe from this occurrence, there are ways you can protect your practice from it.
By securing your information systems as much as you can, you’re only taking one step further in protecting your data system. Insurance is also offered to help to give your practice good hands to rest in. Although insurance coverage does exist, be weary of the scams. We all like freebies, but when it comes to insurance, it safe to say do not trust it. Protection against cyber hacking is very comprehensive, so the odds are, if you find insurance that’s willing to cover you for free, it isn’t out to do the full job it’s guaranteed to do. When shopping around for insurance, make sure you know what the best is, and how to get it.
In addition to cyber hacking, patients all seem to not be paying their out-of-pocket payments. When a patient does not pay, that’s less money that the medical practice is receiving for their income. There’s an even bigger concern though- those who pay individually for their medical care are more likely to sue the medical practice if they are not satisfied with their experience. If this happens, talk to a broker about new risk management tools that are available with various malpractice providers. These tools should include managing patient expectations, quality processes, and satisfaction.
When a patient pays out-of-pocket, they tend to take things personally, because they are spending their own money on this (which could mean in their eyes, they work harder than others who have insurance plans to pay their medical expenses) they deserve the best care. Physicians often take on the role of debt collectors when patient fail to make a payment. They aren’t trying to be a hassle, they just want whats right and fair for both the patient and the practice, and in order for their practice to keep a steady income, patients must pay for the care they’re given. When 2016 comes into play, the highest out-of-pocket limit for an individual patient will be $6,850 while for families, it will be $13,700. When you factor in those costs, it’s no wonder failure to pay is seen as a problem for both the patients and the physicians.

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