|[February 19, 2014]
Fitch: High Deductible Health Plans and Rising Consumerism Negatively Impact Ratings
NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--
Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: High Deductible Health Plans: A Key
Driver in Growing Health Care Consumerism
Rapid migration from traditional indemnity and managed care plans to
high deductible health plans (HDHP) could compress financial performance
over the near term and negatively impact ratings, according to a Fitch
'The increasing shift to HDHPs meaningfully impacted patient volumes in
2013. We expect the growing popularity of these plans to further
challenge utilization rates going forward,' said Jim LeBuhn, Senior
Director and Sector Head.
The growth in HDHP is one of the key drivers in the transformation of
the US health care system to a value based, consumer driven market from
an episodic, patient oriented model. Studies have shown employees
enrolled in HDHP are more cost sensitive in their health care decisions.
With patients shouldering a larger portion of health care costs, bad
expense is expected to increase ovr the near term. Hospitals and health
care providers will have to change billing and collection practices to
focus on point of sale collection, development of installment payment
plans and health plan counseling services.
Fitch believes this change will require substantial retraining for
professionals in the finance, billing and admitting departments with a
greater emphasis on customer service and sales. Similarly, the need to
connect with prospective patients through the internet and social media
will be increasingly important.
For more information, the special report 'High Deductible Health Plans:
A Key Driver in Growing Health Care Consumerism' is available on the
Fitch Ratings web site at www.fitchratings.com.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
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