High deductible plans are changing where patients get medical care and how they pay for it. Once a bill exceeds 5% of household income, patients most likely cannot pay for it themselves. Major employers offer high deductible plans (an average deductible of $1200) in combination with health savings accounts. Deductibles for exchange plans are even higher. Some hospitals are asking for 25% prepayment for self-pay patients. Physicians are having financial conversations with patients before any treatment is given. Patients are very interested about their cost-sharing estimates. The growth of high deductible plans is turning healthcare into a retail market, especially for services such as imaging and lab tests. Urgent care centers and surgery centers are increasing competition with hospitals. Some health systems are publicizing their prices as a way to get into the retail market.
Kutscher, Beth. “High-deductible plans change how hospitals interact with patients.” Finance. Modern Healthcare, 24 Jun 2015. Web. 26 Jun 2015.