Patients who seek services in the health care industry are starting to expect clarity from their providers. Whether seeking a dental cleaning, cancer screening or blood test, patients are more regularly asking about the service they will receive and the likely cost. Diagnostic and reference labs can make the most of this new trend in patient care with the following tips:
- Determine eligibility. Insurance coverage often impacts a patient’s cost for care. Diagnostic labs can increase patient satisfaction by addressing this issue before moving forward with testing. Whenever possible, take a moment to verify patient coverage and discuss any applicable deductibles or copayments that may apply to the services.
- Discuss alternatives. If the patient’s coverage does not apply to the services, be prepared with alternatives that either are covered or can provide similar results at a more affordable price point. If another option is not available, consider a payment plan.
Once the patient agrees to a plan, it is important to follow through and provide results the patient can understand. Leaders in the diagnostic field can work with physicians to provide patients meaningful, actionable results.
It is also important for labs to review applicable rules and regulations before implementing changes. A failure to do so can result in allegations of wrongdoing. The government carefully monitors these rules and will move forward with an investigation if it believes a diagnostic lab is not abiding by the law. This was recently highlighted in the case against the genetic testing lab, discussed in more detail in a recent post available here.