With all the different insurance plans out there, it can be difficult for patients to understand exactly how their money is getting to the person who provided them care and how that affects their healthcare decisions. Three of the most prevalent payment methods include fee for service, comprehensive primary care and concierge care.
Fee for Service
The fee for service method is one of the oldest and most traditional methods of billing patients. In this method, providers record services rendered, often using a charge capture system, and then bill the patient or their insurance company a fee without any prearranged agreement on the price. You may be thinking, what is charge capture? Charge capture is simply the process your healthcare provider uses to collect all the information they need to send out a bill for their services.
Comprehensive Primary Care
The comprehensive primary care method emerged to address the issue of poor patient outcomes caused by cost-saving restrictions imposed on healthcare providers by insurance companies. This method encourages physicians to put the healthcare outcomes of patients first by creating a single risk-adjusted price for all services needed by a group or individual over a fixed period. Physicians are often offered incentives for better patient care.
This method, which goes by many names, is the most recent to gain popularity. Instead of charging for individual services, these providers charge a monthly or annual fee. Services offered to patients depend upon the provider and the fee charged. These plans typically do not have co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance fees and instead rely on charging patients a retainer. Some also accept insurance.
As you can see, the way your doctor gets paid can influence your healthcare outcomes. You may wish to consider which of these three payment methods seem the best fit for your needs before choosing a healthcare provider.