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Healthcare Providers Feel Impact Of Consumer Directed Healthcare

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

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.

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"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."