The term ‘Patient Access’ is broadly used to define as barriers to healthcare as lack of insurance coverage. High deductable health plans and financial limitations. However, these are traditionally termed as front end operations of revenue cycle. Patient access begins with the first point of contact that begins with initial encounter where the staff confirms patient identity, verify insurance coverage provide estimates of ordered services and more. Healthcare industry is currently focusing on streamlining and improving the performance of patient access as accuracy on the front end has proven to reduce bad debts and denials after the patient is either in process or completed the treatment. Technology is a key factor that allows visibility into insurance benefits and other essential sources of information. Patient access solutions comprise web based platforms that deals with electronic medical verification and claims processing system. This system allows the healthcare providers to manage their patient information, access the information in-house/remotely. This service expands beyond traditional healthcare to home, dental, veterinary and chiropractic industries. HealthCare Industry Research Report reveals that the global patient access solutions market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% for the period 2018-2022 and reaching approximately USD 2 Billion by the period end.
As patients engage first with the healthcare system, easy access to all the key information is what he or she looks forwards to. With introduction of healthcare reforms, rising patient bad debt, patient access has become the first line of defense to proactively provide patient access solutions and reach a healthcare bottom line. Health Care Industry Analysis suggests that the Patient Access staff is responsible for 80 cents of every dollar coming into a hospital facility. The features and advantages to these solutions are innumerable. Appointments can be scheduled into a single interface to improve workflows and enable patient workflows. Patient access solutions allow patients to fill open appointment slots by enabling patients to easily search for opportunities and to self schedule. These solutions allow healthcare providers to move payment cycle to the front of the revenue cycle. It allows patient to determine out of pocket expenses by comparing cash prices with real time specific member eligibility and other information. The goal is to holistically integrate patient access within the revenue cycle for optimal performance and better servicing the needs of the client. This includes human resources, education as well as integration of scheduling within the billing cycle to create personalized care for patients.
The patient access solution market is dominant in the developed countries with high disposable income and technological access. This industry has its roots in the US. Prominent players in the patient access solutions market are The Advisory Board Company (US), McKesson (US), Epic Systems (US), Cerner (US), Cognizant (US), Experian plc (Ireland), Optum, Inc. (US), Conifer (US), Craneware, Inc. (UK), The 3M Company (US), The SSI Group, LLC (US), ZirMed, Inc. (US), Cirius Group, Inc. (US), and AccuReg Software (US). These services are not yet provided actively in India but with recent technological upsurge, this might set its foot in the country in the near future.
As technology further expands to the other developing nations, this market shall see an overall increasing growth rate, globally. The goal of Patient Access is to educate and support individuals – patients, staff and providers – on their journey to deliver comprehensive, quality health care services. Accessing quality care can yield many benefits, including improved physical, social and mental health status through prevention of disease and disability, detection and treatment of health conditions, higher quality of life, preventable death and longer life expectancy.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications