For some colonoscopy patients, making sense of the medical bills afterward is more anxiety-inducing than preparing for the procedure. Confusion over what’s owed and when can lead to unhappy patients, making it critical for GI-focused ambulatory surgery centers to develop streamlined billing processes.
The average colonoscopy costs anywhere between $2,100 and $3,764, while deductibles can range from $0 to more than $1,000. Many factors can affect the total cost, such as the cost of the colon prep kit, the type of sedation that’s used, whether the provider removes lesions or polyps, and whether a biopsy is performed. With such wide swings in patient costs, it’s little wonder that 61 percent of patients are confused by their medical bills, and nearly half said that the amount they owed was a complete surprise.
For ASC owners, delivering a positive experience is key for building strong patient relationships and market share. The federal government now considers patient satisfaction scores when determining Medicare reimbursements, creating even more incentive for ASCs to keep up. That positive experience extends not just to the quality of care, but also to educating patients about their financial responsibility.
Preparing your patients for anesthesia billing
A growing number of centers are offering propofol-based sedation to their patients, thanks to the increased comfort, convenience, and safety it provides during endoscopies. Not only does propofol speed up procedure and recovery times, but it also helps patients feel better hours and days after surgery, with fewer side effects than traditional sedation methods.
But while offering propofol during procedures can help drive patient satisfaction, receiving an unexpected anesthesia bill can quickly dampen their positive experience. Communicating billing expectations with patients each step of the way is an important part of effective patient communication. Your anesthesia management partner should be helping in the following ways:
- Before the procedure. Does your anesthesia provider participate in pre-op calls to talk with patients about the planned anesthesia services? In addition to explaining billing, the provider should confirm all medical clearances are in place and answer questions about the proposed sedation, helping to put patients at ease. CarePlus providers participate in pre-op calls for patients to discuss sedation, confirm paperwork is complete, explain billing procedures and address patient concerns.
- After the procedure. In addition to having patients sign a billing consent form on the day of service, a reputable anesthesia provider goes the extra mile after the endoscopy to inform patients about their financial responsibility. Your anesthesia management partner should also take a patient-friendly approach to collections, helping you avoid billing issues that could sour your ASC’s relationships. CarePlus providers proactively contact each patient after the day of service to ensure they understand the billing process, answer questions and gauge patient satisfaction.
From optimizing billing practices to delivering clinical excellence, your anesthesia management partner plays a key role in driving patient satisfaction. With CarePlus, you’ll work with providers who deliver patient comfort and safety, support your staff with professionalism and respect, and create a competitive advantage for your facility.
Isn’t it time to boost patient satisfaction at your center? Click here to contact us today.
 “How much does a colonoscopy cost?,” Bankrate, 2016
 “61% of patients confused by medical bills, survey finds,” Becker’s Hospital Review, 2016
 “1,700 Hospitals Win Quality Bonuses from Medicare, But Most Will Never Collect,” Kaiser Health News, 2015
 “Decreasing Cost in the GI Sedation Suite by Utilizing Best Sedation Practices,” University of Southern Mississippi, 2017