The world of healthcare payments is becoming increasingly disconnected. The majority of Americans want price estimates upfront when it comes to healthcare, but only half of these estimates are accurate. 67% of Americans worry they could not afford a surprise medical bill, and even 4 in 10 adults with employer-sponsored insurance struggle to afford their healthcare. 40% of consumers were surprised by a high medical bill, with nearly half stemming from hospitals. Updating the modern marketplace with contactless check-in and insurance card OCR will improve the future of healthcare.
From 2007 to 2017, almost 20 million Americans were enrolled in high deductible plans. High deductible plans have grown in popularity; plans with a health savings account have gone up by 450% and have increased by 231% without a health savings account. Patients that switch to these plans often experience an increase in unexpected medical bills, confusion about payment responsibility, and higher out-of-pocket costs.
Every year, $190 billion in unnecessary spending goes towards the administration of payments, contributing to the problem of wasted spending in healthcare. One-quarter of wasted spending in healthcare relates to time and money spent on collecting, processing, posting, and reconciling payments. Payments are collected from consumers, insurance payers, and a mix of both, which are each processed at a different time in the payment cycle. Additionally, 10% of claims are denied. Work required to resubmit claims costs up to 18 times more than a claim that was filed correctly the first time. 90% of denied claims are avoidable. Reducing common mistakes like incorrect patient identification, services not covered, out-of-network providers, and prior authorization required can help reduce costs. Mistakes also occur when systems are not interoperable, stemming from manual data transfer between systems or difficulty verifying insurance eligibility.
Why Insurance Card OCR is the Future
The solution to the payment problem in healthcare is simple: insurance eligibility verification, connecting healthcare systems, and contactless check-in. This is delivered through insurance card OCR. Automated insurance eligibility verification can save an average physician practice 11 hours of administrative time every day, which can save up to $4500 per month. Insurance eligibility collects necessary data and confirms insurance coverage. This can then be used to calculate accurate pricing estimates. Amid the pandemic, healthcare organizations switched to contactless check-ins and payments to slow the spread of the virus. Patients complete digital registration documents including COVID-19 screening questions. These include insurance documentation, consent forms, and review of the outstanding balance in copays. At the time of service, patients call or text to let the office know they have arrived and wait in the parking lot until the clinician is ready.
Healthcare innovation will make connecting healthcare systems fast and simple. Benefits to patients include easy check-in from anywhere without the risk of infection, understanding cost responsibility before receiving services, and saving information without a single login, eliminating the need to carry cards. Providers benefit from connected systems by reducing administrative workload for greater productivity and cost savings, process faster claims because of accurate data capture and digital insurance, and encounter fewer administrative headaches, mistakes, and reduced turnover. Office staff get reduced risk of infection through the exchange of documents and payments, eliminate mistakes from the rework of claims and misread insurance cards, and gain more time to focus on other tasks. Getting paid is fast and simple with the future of healthcare payments.