Best Practices for Patient Financial Communications
This is simple, but…
Patients ideally should understand the cost of the care they receive, their insurance coverage and their individual financial responsibility. Many – and I might even venture most – do not.
HFMA recently sifted out the top Patient Financial Communications Best Practices for several different categories of provider-patient interaction into one easy-to-reference document. The best practices are comprehensive, covering everything from the timing and setting of patient discussions to resources that will aid in prior balance and resolution discussions.
My all-time favorite line is this one, which occurs in some form in every section of this guide: “Patient share and prior balance discussions: Interactions will not interfere with patient care, and will focus on patient education.”
Why? It follows our belief that patients have the right to – and want to – understand their financial responsibilities as it relates to the care they receive. Education paves the way to payment. Period.