High deductible plans are creating new headaches for hospitals, including more unpaid bills and seasonal demand for some healthcare services as patients wait to hit their deductibles before seeking non-urgent care.
The bulk of the savings through high deductible plans, up to 75%, come from lower utilization. It’s not the value of the increased deductible per se, it’s the change in behavior. When it’s other people’s money it doesn’t matter, but when it’s your money it’s a completely different dynamic.
Instead of jacking up prices, hospitals should work with local health plans to achieve equitable solutions – lower reimbursement rates for lower deductibles and co-insurance. Is 250% of Medicare and chasing dollars better than 100% of Medicare and not chasing dollars?