With many disputes our economy is facing today, increasing payments for healthcare services can be challenging. Nitin Chhoda explains why discussing with patients about their health coverage is important. Making the patient feel prepared and ready will help improve the practice-patient relationship.
For a long time, most jobs were in manufacturing, the making of goods that were then sold on the market.
But today, more and more manufacturing jobs are moving overseas to countries where labor is much cheaper. The economy has been moving in a direction of being service-based rather than manufacturing-based.
The New Economy
The new economy is an economy where most jobs do not come from the buying or selling of products, but of services.
Healthcare is a service industry. Both healthcare and insurance are services rather than goods or products. The challenge in the U.S. right now is that service providers for health coverage cannot raise prices without becoming significantly overpriced for the majority of the population.
Health coverage right now is unaffordable to most Americans, and even health insurance is too expensive if you do not work in a traditional, full-time job. As a result, providers of health coverage, even with proper physical therapy documentation, must balance their practices in a new way.
Improving Efficiency for Better Economies of Scale
One way that health coverage can be better balanced in the new economy is to improve efficiency. Economy of scale is a term that describes how it is easier to make money from low prices if you have more clients, customers, or patients.
For example, if your practice pays rent, hires staff, and covers utilities every month, those costs stay the same month after month – these are the expenses. If you can only treat a certain number of patients, your income is capped.
But if you can find ways to improve efficiency so that you can take on more patients each month, you can increase income. Finding the balance is a challenge, and most practices rely on trial and error. For example, many practices of health coverage bill low prices to entice more patients. By increasing the number of patients, they increase their overall revenue, even if they lower prices.
Most people cannot afford health coverage, which means that they do not go to the doctor as often as they probably should to stay healthy. For a practice like a physical therapy practice, they may find that patients of health coverage limit the number of visits so they don’t have to pay the co-pay so many times. But that reduces the favorable outcomes and many patients do not recover or stay as strong as they should.
There is no arguing that preventative care is not a bad thing. One way that a practice can improve their efficiency is to improve technology and find ways within the practice to be more time efficient.
Another way is to provide a service to patients that they do not get anywhere else. When the patient feels they are getting more for their money, they are more willing to pay.
Many practices with health coverage are now taking a more holistic approach and encouraging clinicians to help educate patients so they stay healthy. Then when the patient isn’t feeling well, they come back because they trust the clinicians and feel it is worthwhile to pay for health coverage plans at that practice.