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HFMA: Patient Financial Interaction Guidelines Sharpened

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2013

Stakeholders, including representatives from the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American Hospital Association, have drafted new best practices for providers to communicate with patients who are becoming increasingly responsible for a greater proportion of their healthcare costs.

New draft best practices designed to help healthcare providers manage patient financial interactions with greater consistency and transparency were announced Sunday at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's ANI conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Speaking to an audience of mainly healthcare finance executives, HFMA president and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, said the best practices are intended to provide guidance to provider organizations for when and how to communicate to patients about their insurance coverage and financial responsibility for co-pays and deductibles.

Calling the practices "critical," Fifer said it is important for providers to communicate clearly and effectively with patients who are becoming "responsible for a greater proportion of their healthcare costs."

Fifer also noted the complexity of the current reimbursement environment for providers who are dealing with complicated payment models from multiple payers in addition to a variety of government programs and said clear guidelines and communication between providers and patients are "more important than ever."

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