- Whitney Ellis Whitney Ellis
New Study Reveals Healthcare Providers Feeling Impact Of Consumer Directed Healthcare
Study conducted by Fifth Third Bank shows that providers are anticipating collection challenges as consumers increasingly pay out of pocket
The past several years have shown a significant shift in the payment for healthcare services through higher co-pays and deductibles. This shift is creating challenges for healthcare providers as the financial burden of consumer (patient) debt falls to them, according to a research study funded by Fifth Third Bank. The Bank released a white paper today entitled “The Impact of Consumer Directed Healthcare on Providers.”
Fifth Third Bank surveyed providers and thought leaders throughout the country to understand the impact they see in cash flow and operations as Consumer Directed Healthcare (CDH) rises. In addition, the research delves into how providers are reacting to this market movement in terms of enhanced processes and payment solutions.
“We understand that inefficiencies in the processing of healthcare payments exist today and that will become a larger issue as CDH rises,” said Nav Ranajee, vice president of Healthcare Solutions for Fifth Third Bank. "We conducted this research to determine what initiatives providers are pursuing to deal with this coming change."
The creation of CDH plans such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) have created a paradigm shift in how consumers pay for healthcare. The past year has seen rapid growth due to economic conditions, increased employer adoption and improved HSA/HDHP plan designs. A key stakeholder in this new environment is the provider.
While the research indicates the impact of CDH varies geographically, participants agree the CDH momentum is building. All research participants agree they must adapt their people, processes and technologies or risk a negative cash flow impact.
“Banks are a key stakeholder in this new CDH marketplace,” said Kevin Lavender, senior vice president, head of national healthcare for Fifth Third Bank. “Providers will require sophisticated payment solutions to streamline their collection processes.”
Other issues cited by research participants include: price transparency, lack of consumer HDHP understanding, under-trained frontline staff, outdated legacy systems, public relations sensitivity, inadequate payer communication and limited front end payment tools. The research is available upon request by contacting Ranajee at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (312) 704-6846.
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $115 billion in assets, operates 18 affiliates with 1,295 full-service Banking Centers, including 93 Bank Mart locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 2,323 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates five main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, Investment Advisors and Fifth Third Processing Solutions. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2008, has $207 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $31 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at http://www.53.com. Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ(R) National Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB."