Fitch Ratings says healthcare providers face challenges from consumerism

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When rating services report the financial pressures healthcare providers face, it’s probably not a surprise to you. You know your financial circumstances. But when Fitch says some of the challenges you face are due to consumerism, it might be time to take notice. Fitch recently reported that:

Healthcare providers across the spectrum are facing a complicated set of operating environment factors. Primary challenges are regulatory uncertainty around who will pay for care and at what cost. Other secular challenges include growing healthcare consumerism, payer consolidation and the gradual evolution away from the fee for service model.”[1]

The high cost of healthcare isn’t going away. In fact, the medical cost trend is expected to increase 6% in 2019, according a new report from PwC’s Health Research Institute, and as reported in HealthCareDive. Ben Isgur, Health Research Institute’s director, told HealthCareDive: “The headline is that medical cost trend has plateaued, but that flat trend is still pretty high and above inflation.”[2] Isgur also said that costs are eating up a lot of employer benefits and employees are footing more of their healthcare bills.[3]

As employees pay more out-of-pocket expenses, they become pickier about how they spend their healthcare dollars. This puts consumerism in healthcare into full swing. These cost increases will drive self-insured companies to go direct and smaller employers to the association plans.

And the current administration is opening doors for consumers to have more choices in healthcare, particularly, in how they pay for it. One way is through enrolling in association health plans. Modern Healthcare reports that: “As many as 4.3 million people are expected to leave the individual and small group insurance markets to enroll in association health plans over the next five years if the Trump administration’s recent proposal to expand those plans is approved, according to a new analysis.”[4]

As consumers leave the current market in droves, how are you going to defend your marketplace?  For starters, we suggest you embrace these association plans and leverage them to help you gain market share. Go direct to self-insured employers and start developing your own insurance plans in your regional areas. Cut out the payers.

By going direct, you can garner greater market share as a result of these plans. The association plans will help consumers save out-of-pocket expenses, which, in turn, gives people more money to spend on healthcare. But they will watch how they spend those dollars, and you can be certain that the providers who give them an “Amazon experience” will attract the most consumers.

When you embrace the associations, and also reach out to self-insured employers, you need to have a platform that allows you to provide consumers a rich retail experience. HealthQRS offers you that. We have created the interface that provides a consumer-friendly “Amazon experience” in healthcare and you can implement that solution immediately. We are a software-as-a-service (SaaS), so you have no capital investment, just a low monthly fee. We also have a smartphone application that consumers can use to shop, see actual costs, schedule and pay for services with a few finger taps.

Our e-commerce medical marketplace platform is the perfect vertical application for integrated delivery networks. Our solution provides regulation compliance and serves as a marketing tool for your services. At the same time, we will solve your bad debt issues caused by not collecting from consumers, and many other benefits. HealthQRS also allows you to be compliant with the new CMS transparency rules beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

HealthQRS has over 15 years of experience developing healthcare retail experiences for people and our founders have over 50 combined years of e-commerce experience. We invite you to watch a short video that demonstrates our user-friendly app that you can use to win consumers. You can also check out our E-Commerce Medical Marketplace Flyer for more information. Why not contact us right now to schedule a personalized demo? We’re ready to help you gain market share and secure your financial outlook.

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[1] Fitch Press Release: “Fitch: HCR Deal Exemplifies US Healthcare Vertical Integration,” Apr. 30, 2018, https://www.fitchratings.com/site/pr/10029045

[2] Jeff Byers, “Proliferation of care settings to drive medical cost inflation in 2019, PwC projects,” HealthCareDive, Jun. 13, 2018, https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/medical-cost-trends-2019/525526/

[3] Ibid.

[4] Shelby Livingston, “Association health plans could spark 4.3 million people to drop ACA coverage,” Modern Healthcare, Feb. 28, 2018, http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180228/NEWS/180229908

 

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