Survey: Hospitals saw 10% increase in self-pay dollars in past 5 years

With the rising popularity of high-deductible health plans, hospital and health system executives know they must find effective ways of communicating with patients about their financial responsibility and develop strategies to ensure proper payment. Many executives have made strides in these areas, but there is still room for improvement, according to a Healthcare Financial Management Association survey sponsored by Parallon.

HFMA researchers surveyed 117 senior finance executives and revenue cycle leaders to examine their organizations' self-pay processes and patient financial engagement efforts.

Here are six survey findings:

1. Generally, self pay has increased 10 percent at hospitals during the past five years (median).

2. From 2009 to 2015, the number of hospitals that have mandatory pre- or point-of-service collections processes for outpatient services increased from 9 percent to 32 percent.

3. About 20 percent of survey respondents indicate high capabilities for pricing and patient education related to billing and administrative expectations.

4. The survey found about 17 percent of respondents indicate high capabilities for pre-service automation, forecasting and prioritizing financially eligible patient accounts.

5. In the survey, organizations rated pre-service pricing as the highest priority when considering how to engage patients in covering the cost of their healthcare.

6. Researchers said survey espondents indicated point-of-service collections and automation are their top priorities when considering which self-pay processes to implement.


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