Many practices know the frustration with health insurers – specifically appealing claim denials and the reimbursement process. This has led many hospitals and practices to incorporate more “cash based” treatment options for their patients. Tapping into the cash market is now proven to be a successful option.
In the past decade or so there was little understanding on how to incorporate cash pricing into your practice. Doing so can give you more freedom to treat patients without insurance mandates, and provide a sense of transparency the younger generations demand.
How can a cash market support your practice or hospital?
The idea isn’t so easy for larger hospital systems with more technicalities, but it could be the perfect transition for ambulatory surgical centers, micro hospitals, and private practices.
Most cash-based practices are not strictly “cash based”. Even 20% of your practice becoming cash based could do you good and show much improvement.
The benefits of going cash based are well worth the switch. Here are a few benefits as opposed to going through insurance.
- Getting paid faster
When going through insurance there’s no telling what hangs up there might be, and hoping to get paid long after a service is rendered is a risk we take. With cash based you can choose to request all services paid before they are rendered. Leaving your mind quickly at ease knowing you’re not at a loss.
- No Billing
Billing is a long extensive task that should be done by professionals. Accepting cash removes some of the need for a large expensive billing department, and complications that may arise from billing errors.
- No Claims
Again eliminating claims will eliminate labor and save you money, but also the technicality of submitting a claim. Going cash based gives you more freedom to focus on patients and treatment instead of making sure your claim 100% conforms to the regulations of the insurance company, so you can get paid in the end without any guarantee.
Cash Based From the Patients Perspective
For a lot of Americans, health insurance isn’t an option or simply isn’t worth paying high premiums, especially for something they may rarely or never use. Some may get insurance at the lowest rates, but still face high deductibles. Often times it’s cheaper for the patient to pay cash prices than to go through their insurance with high deductibles.
Cash based is also a better option or sometimes the only option for visiting foreigners and immigrants. There are estimated 47 million American immigrants in the US today, making up nearly 14% of the population. Without insurance available to many, cash pay may be their only option to receive the care they need. You could be their source.
Cash pricing also offers a sense of price transparency, something almost everyone expects these days, and for good reason. With that said most will only consider paying cash if they are guaranteed transparency, meaning they need reassurance there are no hidden fees and they will not be billed later on down the road.
Cash based can be very important for patient convenience. The convenience of having your fees all laid out into one number and knowing exactly what you’re getting for your money, makes the purchase and receiving care all around more comfortable for the patient. Because of this, it is important that practices offer bundled “all inclusive” service prices for patient convenience.
Cash based services and insurance based service should both hold the same service and level of care as well. You wouldn’t want a patient who used insurance to get the notion you are better caring for a cash based patient. No care should be compromised, instead care should be the same across the board for everyone.
If you’re thinking about taking this futuristic approach to “cash based”, it’s a good idea to put your plans in place now. Focusing on your long term growth, you’ll likely see results within a year or so. This unique offering will attract many new customers, and give current patient flexibility without having to change providers with each new insurance policy.
Reaching a growth to 50% cash pay will give you much anticipated independence from insurance companies, but it’s important through this offering to keep a closed loop seeing your cash pay patients for all care from beginning to end.