Medibid is the Ultimate Medical Marketplace for Self-Pay Patients
Self-pay patients are more common than ever, as a study published by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) demonstrates. The study found that in the last five years, hospitals have seen a 10 percent increase in the amount of revenue generated by self-pay patients. Experts attribute this to several factors, but the widespread adoption of high-deductible health plans and the rising costs of medical care are chief among them.
There’s also an influx of Canadian self-pay patients emerging. According to the Fraser Institute, more than 60,000 Canadians leave Canada to obtain medical care every year. This annual exodus is likely due to Canada’s single payer healthcare model, which makes it illegal for physicians to receive payment from any Canadian on a medical waiting list.
By paying the provider directly and at the time of service, self-pay patients can reduce their medical expenses without getting an insurance company involved. This is a win-win for patients and their providers, who can reduce their administrative overhead and receive payment much faster by engaging with self-pay patients.
The medical marketplace is difficult for self-pay patients to navigate, though. A self-pay approach only works when the patient can get the most out of every dollar spent on healthcare. Without price transparency, however, there’s no easy way for a self-pay patient to make a smart economical decision on their provider.
Medibid aims to correct this, with an online medical marketplace that prioritizes access and transparency. Medibid steps outside of the traditional patient-provider-payer triangle and allows self-pay patients to connect directly with physicians and facilities. The result is a medical marketplace where self-pay and cash pay patients have more options than ever.
How Medibid Benefits the Self-Pay Patient
A self-pay approach allows patients to keep their expenses down, but these patients frequently have difficulty in locating a provider that accepts self-pay patients. According to AARP’s data, there are about 5,000 U.S. physicians that have transitioned to a cash-only model, but that number is increasing. AARP projects that 16 percent of doctors’ practices and hospitals will move to a cash-only model in the coming years. The market is looking for alternatives to traditional health insurance, and self-pay patients are fueling those alternatives.
Medibid is one such alternative, and is designed to make self-pay work better, for the patient and the provider. Here’s how:
- Medibid resolves issues with price transparency – Self-pay patients choose to act like consumers in the medical marketplace, looking for the perfect combination of price and quality from their providers. By doing so, they keep their medical expenses in check. Self-pay patients must shop around and get accurate treatment cost information to make this work, and its rarely easy to get that information. The complex medical market is not designed for self-pay patients.Medibid, though, is a medical marketplace where self-pay patients can make better decisions faster. Providers on Medibid compete for patients, including self-pay patients. They do so by submitting bids to the healthcare auction in response to a patient’s request for care. Once a patient has supplied this request, providers develop a bid that includes one comprehensive price for the physician, the facility and anesthesia, if necessary.
This single bundled price approach is critical to MediBid’s success, as it gives the patient an easy way to compare providers. Providers can compete on quality, too, by advertising physician experience and the facility’s accommodations. With this information, self-pay patients no longer have to call facility after facility looking for the best deal. They simply have to review provider bids and choose one. In this way, Medibid is transforming the medical market into one that operates as if it was in the real economy.
- Medibid gives self-pay patients options – Price transparency is a problem for self-pay patients, and finding a physician or facility that accepts self-pay patients is another challenge these patients face.Providers on Medibid are willing to work outside of the typical provider-payer paradigm, which means they are often willing to bring in cash or self-pay only patients. Self-pay patients, as long as they are able to meet the bid’s asking price, can communicate directly with the winning provider to determine payment specifics. Self-pay patients, then, have an online marketplace in Medibid where they can access providers from around the world.
With global access to competing providers, self-pay patients can reduce the time spent on researching providers and reduce costs with medical tourism and other measures.
- Medibid makes self-pay profitable for providers, too – Providers want self-pay patients for their ability to pay directly, quickly and without the administrative burden that comes with treating people with health insurance. Providers, though, may be wary of a self-pay patient’s ability to afford treatment. Much of this problem is caused by a lack of price transparency upfront, as the patient can’t give the care back if the procedure is too expensive.Medibid sorts out the important details before services are provided, so physicians and facilities can dictate when they are paid and how they are paid. Providers and patients are able to contact each other directly to discuss payment and treatment details, so there are no billing surprises.
Because self-pay patients do not pass through standard medical insurance channels, providers don’t need to commit significant administrative resources to billing them. According to a February 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, single physician practices can spend up to one out of every three dollars they make on administrative costs. That can be $100,000 or more in a single year, due to things like billing. Much of what is billed is never collected, too, increasing the burden further. Medibid reduces these burdens to the provider by giving access to patients that want to pay promptly and simply.
Self-pay patients want to make the market work better for them. They want clear pricing and greater access, without sacrificing quality. Providers want patients that can pay on time and pay a fair price. Medibid is the solution for both, connecting self-pay patients with the providers willing to work with them.