How to deal with growing competition from CVS and Aetna, employer-based clinics, telehealth and other disruptions

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With high deductible plans becoming the norm, patients are a key source of your income. And yet, only 39 percent of them could cover a $1,000 emergency with their savings, according to Bankrate’s latest Financial Security Index survey.[1] When a family can’t pay, guess who loses out? But you already know that. Last year, we saw hospital bankruptcy after bankruptcy due to bad debt. And now, in addition to financial hardships, hospitals and provider groups alike are faced with competition that didn’t exist five years ago. Telehealth is making headway. Employer-based clinics are popping up. Giants like Amazon are entering the game. And mergers, such as CVS and Aetna, are threatening the status quo.

Not only are you bombarded with increasing competition, but looming legislation could change the way you do business. One lawmaker in Georgia, for instance, has introduced House Bill 678 that “would require patients scheduling a procedure receive a list ahead of time showing exactly which doctors they’ll see, what insurance would cover, and what the balance charge would be,” according to an article in Macon’s Telegraph.[2] The article quotes State House Insurance Committee Chairman Richard Smith, R-Columbus: “You go to a hospital and have a scheduled procedure and you think your insurance covers everything and then all of the sudden you get a bill in the mail for $500, $5,000, $10,000. There was a guy in Columbus who got a bill for $15,000. This should not be happening. The cost of health care is killing us.”[3]

Bills like this, if passed, will make it harder for your administration, including billing for services after the fact if you didn’t include them upfront. Financial hardships and legislative mandates provide added pressures to organizations, particularly community hospitals. It’s almost like tying extra concrete to your feet while you’re struggling to swim to shore.

What if you banded together with other community hospitals in your region to provide a regional marketplace to consumers? This would allow you to compete with larger providers and hospitals. For example, if you created a regional marketplace where consumers could find your individual hospitals and clinics, people could shop for services and procedures and see, upfront, what their out-of-pocket expenses were going to be. This alone would go a long way to satisfying legislative mandate’s like Georgia’s House Bill 678. In addition, a marketplace would allow consumers to schedule the service online and pay for it right then. If they can’t pay in full, the application allows them to set up payment plans based on the financial rules you set. And if you have different business rules than another community hospital in your region? No problem. You can each set up your own individual rules for your organization.

Here’s a list of just a few of the benefits you would receive from a regional medical marketplace. You would have:

  • The ability to drive up volume with a strategic marketing tool
  • An online presence that makes it easy for people to find you, your services and procedures and schedule them from their smartphones
  • Instant monetary collections to help lower bad debt and a way to offset Medicaid cuts
  • A way to compete with market disruption including larger hospitals and employer-based clinics
  • An offense against competition you’ve never had: Amazon, CVS and Aetna, for example
  • Help with administrative burdens, including legislative mandates

HealthQRS has developed the only complete e-commerce medical marketplace platform on the market. We essentially created the “Amazon platform” for healthcare, and our solution can be used for virtually any healthcare model including hospitals, clinics, outpatient surgery centers, behavioral health and freestanding imaging centers. Including a regional consortium of community hospitals. Our solution is a Software as a Service (SaaS), so there is no capital investment, only a low monthly fee.

Just as simple, online retail shopping attracts consumers, a simple online medical retail experience will draw patients to you. We can help you win consumers with a retail application that allows people to easily find you, schedule services and procedures and pay with a few finger taps on their smartphones. HealthQRS has a complete retail application ready to help you market yourself. Our solution is a software as a service (SaaS), so you only pay a low monthly fee, with no capital investment.

It’s important to note that an e-commerce platform is not just a revenue cycle solution but is the strategic marketing tool that is needed for every hospital, clinic and service provider. We help you deal with the competition, disruption and other forces hitting you. Now is the time to provide true prices along with an easy-to-use shopping experience for consumers, businesses and their employees.

It’s easy to learn more about HealthQRS and our e-commerce medical marketplace and how we can help you be the disrupter. We have over 12 years of experience developing healthcare retail experiences for consumers and our founders have over 50 combined years of e-commerce experience. Our E-Commerce Medical Marketplace Flyer provides more information. Click here to download the flyer. We invite you to contact us right now for more information or click here to schedule a demo.

[1] Taylor Tepper, “Most Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $1K emergency,” Bankrate, Jan. 18, 2018, https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/financial-security-0118/

[2] Maggie Lee, “Ever received a ‘surprise’ bill from a doctor? A Georgia lawmaker wants that to stop,” The Telegraph, Jan. 14, 2018, http://www.macon.com/latest-news/article194436079.html

[3] Ibid.

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