Physician Practice

High-deductible health plans changing the way physicians talk to patients

Physician Practice Insider, March 22, 2016

The proliferation of high-deductible health plans is having a ripple effect throughout the industry and forcing many medical practices to change the way they do business. And some of those changes are affecting the way physicians discuss treatment options with their patients.

With more patients purchasing health plans that provide lower premiums in exchange for high deductibles, physicians are opting to have up-front conversations with patients to preclude potential problems down the line.

“The ability for patients to pay their bills has risen to the top of the list of current problems facing physician practices,” says Anders Gilberg, vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association in Englewood, Colorado. “So, many practices are finding it’s better to have conversations up front with patients about how much a treatment or procedure will cost.”

High-deductible health plans came into vogue shortly after the arrival of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With many consumers compelled to purchase health insurance for the first time, insurers found a demand for high-deductible plans with lower premiums.

This article was originally published in Physician Practice Perspectives. Subscribers can read the full article in the May 2016 issue.

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