How Bitcoin Can Help Patients Get Better Healthcare

Robert Hall is a small-business owner and content creator. Having access to healthcare is crucial for long-term health. Every country implements this process in a different way. Many countries socialize healthcare costs through the government in a sliding scale. This includes total government control to private sector healthcare and a small amount of government-provided healthcare for the elderly. The United States has a private healthcare system. You can buy healthcare services from any provider you choose if you have the funds. The problem in America is not a lack of healthcare providers. It is how healthcare services will be paid for. It is quite odd, if you stop to think about it. Can you think of any other service where you don’t know the cost before you go? You might even be able to get an estimate. Typically, you hand over your insurance card when you arrive at the doctor’s offices and pay a copay. What is a copay and what does it mean? Many people don’t know what a copay or coinsurance is and how it works. Most people don’t know that you need to hand over a card and pay a small fee to receive services. After services are rendered your doctor will send a claim to the insurance company for payment. If there is any balance, you will have to pay the remainder once the claim has been paid. This happens often months later and you may not be able to pay the balance. You are not only being hit with a surprise bill that you have yet to budget for, but healthcare providers are also finding it difficult to find qualified staff to process payments. Healthcare providers will find it even more difficult to receive payments last year thanks to the No Surprises Act passed by the government. Why do we need third parties to cover medical bills? Imagine your car insurance company paying for your gas tank. It’s a strange idea, right? Did you know that 20% of Americans have medical debt and 58% of all bills in collections are for medical debt in 2021? As you can see, medical debt is a major problem for many people. This has a negative impact on healthcare providers. Healthcare providers lose revenue when patients don’t pay, and must raise prices to make up the difference. Is the healthcare consumer directly affected by an increase in prices? The rise in healthcare prices is not felt directly by the consumer. Instead, health insurance companies see an increase in costs to provide services. An average American family spends $22,221 annually on their health insurance. This is a lot of money, I don’t know if you. Imagine what you could do if you had $22,221 in your pockets. This is especially true when you consider the federal government and the amount it pays for healthcare. In 2026, Medicare is expected to be insolvent. This is only three years away, yet nobody is talking about it in the media and no one campaigned on the issue during the election. Medicare provides healthcare coverage for 63 millions seniors and disabled Americans. What will they do if the government runs out money to cover this population? The average growth rate of Medicare spending over the past five years was 7.6% and it is not expected to slow down anytime soon. This is a slow-motion train wreck in an already broken healthcare system. It needs to be fixed before it collapses and everyone is left behind. How can we make healthcare more free and transparent while helping healthcare providers grow their revenue and reduce costs?Bitcoin to the rescueSourceImagine a world in which you know what your medical bills will cost before any services are rendered. Imagine a world in which you could easily compare the prices for different medical procedures, just like you can when shopping at Amazon or the grocery store. The average consumer would have more purchasing power to cover their medical bills if the world adopted a Bitcoin standard. This is possible because of the deflationary nature Bitcoin. There are only 21 million bitcoin. Its value will rise in value the longer you keep it. The more it accumulates value, the more healthcare services you can purchase. This will encourage more healthcare providers to offer their services in bitcoin and enter the market. There will be more competition among healthcare providers, which means that there will be more healthcare options, better customer service, and lower prices. This is how it all works. Healthcare providers would be incentivized by Bitcoin to list their prices in bitcoin to attract patients to their practices. There would be no need for it, as consumers would have enough purchasing power to pay their bills at the time of service.Lightning Network: A Boon To Healthcare ProvidersSourceRunning a doctor’s office is a business. To stay in business, overhead costs must be paid. Rents have to be paid, employees have to be paid, and supplies have to be purchased. Medical practices can use Lightning Network for instant settlement from patients and reduce confusion around medical billing. Lightning payments could increase revenue and improve cash flow. This cash flow could be used for investments in the business, to buy new equipment and to hire more employees. This is not only a benefit for the company but also better equipment leads to better healthcare outcomes. Additionally, more staff means better customer service. Profitability will rise over the long-term if you provide high-quality customer service. A recent study found that healthcare providers who provide “excellent” customer services have a net margin of 50% more than those who provide “average” service. The Lightning Network will also lower transaction fees for medical practices. Healthcare providers pay a large portion of their bottom line and payment processing provides little utility. The average payment processor charges between 1.5% and 3.5%. They also often use confusing formulas to bill companies out of their money. Healthcare providers could save money by switching to the Lightning Network. Lightning payments cost an average of.01% to send. Many Lightning nodes don’t charge any fees to send a Lightning payment. This is something traditional payment processors can’t match. Healthcare providers should adopt a Bitcoin standard and start using the Lightning Network as soon possible to transform their businesses. Robert Hall contributed this guest post. These opinions are not necessarily those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc.


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