BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is rolling out a service that tells patients how much insurance will cover and how much is the patient’s responsibility –right at the point of care. (For Patients, This Is a Virtue: A System to Tally Doctor’s Bills, Wall Street Journal.)
What’s BCBS’s motive, other than promoting goodwill?
Doctors have a hard time collecting patient balances. It’s costly to bill and patients don’t always take the bills seriously. Letting the patient know his balance while he’s still in the office should help doctors increase collections and reduce collection costs. With ever higher co-pays and deductibles, patient pay represents an increasing share of physician office revenues.
BCBS is indirectly helping physicians increase their revenues. As a result, BCBS wil be in a better position to hold down reimbursement rates to its physicians and thereby justify its investment in the new service.July 28, 2005