“Narrow networks” can lead to hidden costs

Apr 14, 2015 | Healthcare Accounts Receivable

Though the number of Americans with health insurance is rising, The New York Times reports many new plans fall under the "narrow network" category. This means policyholders have access to a limited range of providers to meet their medical needs. While this development doesn't shut patients out of most treatments and procedures, it requires them to pay hefty out-of-pocket costs to pursue care outside their designated networks. 

The newspaper explains that the "narrow network" strategy is a method of driving down costs. However, patients who don't understand their plans might mistakenly wade into expensive territory. 

"They can then ask providers to discount their prices in return for a potentially higher volume of patients; some also say they are trying to pick a select group that provides better care," writes the Times. "But consumers can find themselves responsible for high bills if they do not understand how the plans work or which providers are included in the network — as was often the case during the first year of the federal law."

Literacy about personal health insurance plans is critical to making informed decisions about cost and debt. The more policyholders know about their health insurance plans, the less likely they are to incur a mountain of medical debt. 

When patients are overburdened with medical debt, hospitals are inundated with claims and payments to pursue. One of the best ways to manage an overwhelming caseload of medical claims is to outsource receivables management. This allows hospital administrators to reduce backlog and operate more efficiently, pursuing the most high-priority claims and cases. Contact Professional Medical Services today to learn more about how to make your care facility's office more efficient.