By: Editorial Staff, Date: July 20th, 2021

A recent consumer survey has revealed that just 28% of customers claim to have a strong understanding of the healthcare services that are covered by their health insurance plan. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has created even more confusion by forcing countless customers to rework their healthcare plans, healthcare revenue cycle leaders are putting new emphasis on the importance of explaining the coverage and out-of-pocket expenses associated with various healthcare plans. 

There are a number of different strategies that revenue cycle leaders are hoping to adopt moving forward in order to create more transparency and strengthen financial engagement. The first of these strategies is to encourage hospitals to reach out to patients before they schedule service to provide estimates on how much out-of-pocket expenses the service they need will entail. Another point of priority is for insurance providers to better explain the details of the healthcare plans that they provide. This can be done by including important definitions and figures on billing statements as well as placing more emphasis on customer service. 

Another change on the horizon for the healthcare revenue cycle is an increased offering of flexible payment plans. One survey conducted during the height of the pandemic, for example, showed that 43% of providers were experiencing an increase in requests for payment plans. Another survey showed that 41% of consumers list zero-interest or low-interest payment plans as “very important.” Lastly, insurance payers are also hoping to improve transparency by making it easier to access and understand information about the various charges associated with the products that they offer. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major disrupting force for the entire healthcare industry and has exposed a number of flaws that need to be improved moving forward. Ensuring that consumers fully understand the insurance options that are available to them and the out-of-pocket expenses that those options entail is one such need for improvement that the pandemic has exposed, and this goal looks to be a major emphasis for healthcare revenue cycle leaders heading into the second half of 2021. 

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