Health IT Answers features insights from Ryne Natzke, Senior Vice President of Growth and Strategy, Sphere

Read the full article: Patient Engagement Is the Key to Improving Provider Collections

Here is an excerpt:

Patient collections have long been among the most significant operational and financial headaches for medical providers – resulting in lost time and money.

For example, patient collections take more than a month for 74% of providers, according to a recent survey. For two-thirds of providers, patient receivables represent their primary revenue concern.

Many of providers’ challenges associated with collections stem from the “patient-as-a-payer” trend, in which patients have been forced to assume a greater proportion of their own medical bills due to a range of factors such as the proliferation of high-deductible health plans. In the survey, 65% of providers said they have seen an increase in patient financial responsibility.

However, there is another less-obvious culprit that creates additional difficulties with patient collections: manual, paper-based processes. In many ways, healthcare has failed to maintain pace with the technological advances in other industries, and the numbers tell the story: 88% of providers reported relying on manual and paper-based transactions to collect patient financial responsibility, 73% of providers use paper and manual processes for check-in, and only 23% of providers offer electronic statements, according to the survey.

In short, providers’ inability to engage patients is costing them. Patient engagement primarily depends on two factors – making time to understand patient needs, then connecting patients with the resources that fulfill those needs.

Healthcare Business Today features insights from Ryne Natzke, SVP of Growth and Strategy at Sphere.

Below is an excerpt:

With the COVID-19 pandemic exacting a substantial toll on medical practices’ revenues, savvy providers are searching for an edge that can help them stay competitive and build loyalty to retain patients.

In the wake of the pandemic, many providers were left reeling from the associated loss of revenue, reduction in patient volumes, and surging expenses. For example, in July and August, 81% of physicians in an American Medical Association survey said revenue was still lower than pre-pandemic, with an average revenue decline of 32%.

For many practices, patient engagement is that competitive edge. Engaging patients requires clinicians and staff to first take time and effort to understand patient needs, and then deliver to the patient the resources that meet those needs.

Read the full article here.

Leading fintech company integrates with low-code technology solutions provider to deliver secure payments for health and wellness visits.

Nashville, TN, April 20, 2021 —Sphere, a leading provider of end-to-end integrated payments and security software, today announced it has teamed up with Raintree Systems, a provider of Practice Management, Revenue Cycle, Clinical Documentation, and Interoperability solutions to a broad range of healthcare specialties and industry segments including Physical Therapy, Pain Medicine, Rheumatology, and more.

For nearly 40 years, Raintree Systems has been building software solutions for the healthcare and wellness market. Raintree Systems has developed a comprehensive collection of software development tools to empower insurance payers, providers, hospitals, and healthcare IT consultants to rapidly deliver solutions throughout the continuum of care.

Together with Sphere, their solution now allows practices greater payment functionality to expand ways to take payments, improve the onboarding experience and allow for seamless, automated workflows. These direct integration benefits will include:

  • Easy onboarding with a seamless application process for clients
  • Ability to take omnichannel payments—in person, online and over the phone
  • Enhanced back office payment functionality, allowing payments to be accepted directly within the Raintree application without double posting
  • Utilizing plug and play USB hardware with no middleware

“Raintree Systems has provided leading digital healthcare solutions to healthcare providers for decades,” said Steve Rizzuto, Chief Executive Officer of Sphere. “We are pleased to have Raintree Systems utilize the Sphere platform to deliver a more robust payment experience within their complete practice management and electronic medical record software.”

“The addition of Sphere to our ecosystem provides a great no-code payment processing solution for those desiring to leverage our software development platform to create new solutions and for our clients that currently utilize solutions we have delivered with the building blocks of our technology stack,” said Richard Welty, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Raintree Systems.

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About Sphere
Sphere is a leading financial technology and software company revolutionizing integrated commerce solutions for healthcare and its synergistic verticals. Trusted by the nation’s largest health systems, Sphere delivers a highly integrated cloud-based platform that reduces friction and facilitates better and more secure patient payments that drive revenue. Sphere’s Health iPASS platform enhances provider revenue collection by simplifying the patient check-in process and facilitating pre-service, time-of-service and post-service engagement and payments through an innovative, multi-channel virtual software interface.  For more information on Sphere, visit www.spherecommerce.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Raintree Systems
Raintree Systems is an industry leading software company that provides the most complete, comprehensive, and custom configurable solutions for the healthcare marketplace. Raintree has a proven track record of success and client satisfaction in patient engagement & communications, revenue cycle management (RCM), physical therapy & rehabilitation, rheumatology, pulmonology, ambulatory surgery, behavioral health, long-term pediatric rehabilitation, chiropractic, pain medicine, and billing service sectors. With more than 2,500 implementations and more than 25,000+ users deployed, in more than 50 specialties, our customer base includes commercial, nonprofit and government agencies across the US and Canada. Raintree’s commitment to “Software-as-a-Relationship” uniquely distinguishes them from other providers in the market.

The last few years have been busy ones in the privacy landscape. Several states have proposed or passed laws that give individuals a broad array of rights when it comes to the use of their personal information. Part of this new privacy movement also includes changes currently out for comment in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for HIPAA Privacy Rule released by HHS on December 10, 2020. This NPRM directly addresses privacy issues brought on or heightened by COVID.

 

 

On this HealthIT Answers webinar, you will learn:

  • How new privacy rules line up with the Notices of Enforcement Discretion around disclosures related to the COVID Pandemic and public health.
  • How do these changes fit into state-wide legislation like CCPA and other states proposing similar legislation.
  • What are the consequences for failing to maintain good privacy practices.
  • Can healthcare organizations “future proof” their privacy practices to avoid major shifts as new rules come into play.

Speakers: Dr. Heather Randall, CCEP, Chief Compliance Officer, Sphere and Lee Kim Director of Thought Advisory, HIMSS

 

Availability of next-generation Health iPASS platform delivers complete end-to-end patient intake and payment experience

NASHVILLE, TN – March 17, 2021Sphere, a leading provider of end-to-end integrated payments and security software, today announced the launch of the next generation of its patient payment platform. The expanded solution closely integrates Health iPASS’s market-leading patient intake and engagement software with Sphere’s broad payment acceptance functionality and elite-level security, creating a unique end-to-end solution. Sphere acquired Health iPASS in December.

The new, combined platform offers significant benefits to health systems and independent practices, including:

  • A touchless, 100% mobile patient check-in, intake, and payment experience that enables patients to view and edit insurance, demographic, and payment information prior to, during and after the visit
  • The ability for patients to fill out all patient intake forms, check into appointments, and receive custom visit instructions and directions to the practice from their own devices
  • Unmatched connectivity and integration with leading practice management and electronic health records (EHR) systems, including Epic, athenahealth, and Allscripts
  • The option for patients to leave a card-on-file via tokenization for automatic payment of residual balances and in support of billing plans, reducing providers’ cost to collect while increasing cashflow

“The combination of Health iPASS’ patient engagement software with Sphere’s payment technology creates a powerful new solution that delivers simple, seamless and secure transactions for providers,” said Andrew Rueff, Executive Chairman of Sphere. “Our platform streamlines workflows for practices, reduces costs, and drives the collection of patient dollars that would have previously turned into bad debt.”

“As healthcare consumers bear more of the direct costs of care, they are looking to their providers to deliver a retail-like experience with clear communication of costs and seamless integration with the most popular EHR systems to facilitate payments from all channels,” said Steve Rizzuto, Chief Executive Officer of Sphere. “The enhancements to the Sphere platform through the addition of Health iPASS gives providers the tools they need to drive greater patient satisfaction with the way payments are managed and accepted.”

To learn more, visit: https://www.spherecommerce.com/health-ipass/

About Sphere
Sphere is a leading financial technology and software company revolutionizing integrated commerce solutions for healthcare and its synergistic verticals. Trusted by the nation’s largest health systems, Sphere delivers a highly integrated cloud-based platform that reduces friction and facilitates better and more secure patient payments that drive revenue. Sphere’s Health iPASS platform enhances provider revenue collection by simplifying the patient check-in process and facilitating pre-service, time-of-service and post-service engagement and payments through an innovative, multi-channel virtual software interface.  For more information on Sphere, visit www.spherecommerce.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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Sphere Media Contact
Michelle Ronan Noteboom
Amendola Communications
512-426-2870
mnoteboom@acmarketingpr.com

In a recent episode of The Tate Chronicles on HealthcareNOW radio, Jim Tate talks to Ryne Natzke, VP of Strategic Accounts and Healthcare at Sphere. They discuss the current healthcare payments environment and the addition of Health iPASS to the Sphere family of patient engagement and payment solutions.

The Tate Chronicles cover the frontline of Healthcare IT, cutting through the fog and static that exists at the leading edge of healthcare technology and exploring emerging technologies that hold potential to bring beneficial disruptions to healthcare.

Listen to the full podcast now:

This acquisition combines Sphere’s strength in integrated healthcare payments software and technology with Health iPASS’s leading operational and financial technology to create a single platform for patient payments.

Nashville, TN, December 17, 2020—Sphere, a leading provider of end-to-end integrated payments and security software, today announced its acquisition of Health iPASS, an innovative provider of cloud-based patient engagement software and revenue cycle management technology.

Health iPASS specializes in solutions that enhance provider revenue collections and deliver a streamlined healthcare consumer experience from appointment to final payment. The software helps providers accelerate cashflow, reduce the cost to collect, lower claim denials, and improve patient relations. The technology improves the healthcare consumer experience by simplifying the check-in process and payment experience by facilitating pre-service, time-of-service and post-service engagement and patient payments through an innovative, multi-channel virtual software interface.

“Recent events have accelerated healthcare providers’ need for virtual interactions with their patients throughout the patient experience. The Health iPASS software platform addresses those needs by streamlining the check-in and financial engagement workflow to increase provider revenue and improve patient communications,” said Andrew Rueff, Executive Chairman of Sphere. “This strategic acquisition builds upon Sphere’s strong presence in the healthcare market and adds a highly relevant and unique set of software solutions to address the growing demand for improved patient engagement and payment experience in healthcare.”

“As a leading patient engagement and revenue cycle platform, Health iPASS is a tremendous fit with the strategic direction of Sphere to further our capability within healthcare and wellness,” said Steve Rizzuto, Chief Executive Officer of Sphere. “Additional healthcare integrations expand our opportunity to offer our payment solutions to the healthcare marketplace. With their unmatched technology, common vision and reputation for excellence, we are excited to welcome them to the Sphere organization.”

“The Health iPASS team has built a tremendous business with innovative technology and has reached a point where we will benefit from broader distribution channels, an in-house acquiring platform and a global brand. These gaps are filled when combined with Sphere,” said Rajesh Voddiraju, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Health iPASS. “We are aligned in vision, aspiration for growth and believe the future investment will help us capture significant market opportunity.”

The Health iPASS patient friendly platform supports more than 850 payers, 90 practice management systems and is payment processor-agnostic. The company’s commitment to personalized client support will remain unchanged as Health iPASS clients will remain with their existing relationship team.

 

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About Sphere
Sphere is a software and financial technology company providing integrated solutions that reduce friction and facilitate better and more secure commercial interactions with customers in primarily healthcare and non-profit. Sphere’s integrated payments technology and security software enable its clients to process payments in a way that is highly secure and compliant; integrated with their core business software; omnichannel to accept payments anytime, anywhere; and processor-neutral. Sphere’s partner-centric focused payments solutions serve small, midsize and enterprise level businesses and software companies in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. For news and thought leadership, visit the Sphere Blog.
About Health iPASS
Health iPASS is an innovative provider of cloud-based patient engagement software and revenue cycle management technology. Health iPASS’s solutions enhance provider revenue collections and deliver a streamlined healthcare consumer experience from appointment to final payment. Health iPASS’s software platform simplifies the check-in process and payment workflow prior to and at time-of-service. The technology also streamlines post service payment collection through an innovative, multi-channel, virtual software interface. Health iPASS is committed to delivering better check-ins for patients and better revenue for medical practices.

Leading fintech company integrates with telemedicine solution to deliver secure payments for virtual health and wellness visits.

Nashville, TN, September 15, 2020—Sphere, a leading provider of end-to-end integrated payments and security software, today announced it has teamed up with GenieMD, a global provider of telemedicine solutions, to offer secure payment acceptance through the GenieMD platform.

GenieMD is a HIPAA compliant, cloud based, mobile-first telemedicine platform that features video conferencing, secure text messaging, chronic care management, EMR integration, and now payment processing. Integrating Sphere payment processing technology with the GenieMD platform will facilitate transaction processing without adding barriers to care for patients, while significantly reducing scope for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

Benefits of the GenieMD and Sphere integration include:

  • Mobile friendly—the GenieMD iVisit app lets patients locate a physician, complete a clinical visit and pay for the visit from the palm of their hand
  • Compliant—uses a Premium Hosted Payment Page for online payments to separate payment card data from provider environments
  • Secure—supports tokenization for safe recurring payment cycles and batch activity
  • Flexible—features a portal to access customizable reporting, batch transaction uploads, and more

“As telemedicine is now a vital component of health care delivery, we are proud to partner with GenieMD,” said Steve Rizzuto, Chief Executive Officer of Sphere. “Our combined strengths in healthcare and e-commerce alongside GenieMD’s innovative telehealth platform deliver a complete solution for providers of all sizes.”

“GenieMD prides itself on its commitment to offering a fully integrated, turn-key experience to patients, providers and enterprise business partners,” said Soheil Saadat, Ph.D., founder and CEO of GenieMD, Inc. “Our relationship with Sphere expands that capability and reaffirms GenieMD’s best-in-class status in the rapidly growing telehealth vertical.”

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About Sphere
Sphere, powered by TrustCommerce, is a software and financial technology company providing integrated solutions that reduce friction and facilitate better and more secure commercial interactions with customers in specialized vertical markets, primarily healthcare, non-profit, transportation and education. Sphere’s integrated payments technology and security software enable its clients to process payments in a way that is highly secure and compliant; integrated with their core business software; omnichannel to accept payments anytime, anywhere; and processor-neutral. Sphere’s partner-centric focused payments solutions serve small, midsize and enterprise level businesses and software companies in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. For news and thought leadership, visit the Sphere Blog.
About GenieMD
GenieMD, Inc. is an award-winning, global provider of telemedicine solutions. It offers a convenient, cost-effective, easily accessible platform to connect patients and providers around the world. Its targeted evidence-based intake questionnaire followed by a secure video consultation makes the process seamless and cost-effective for patients and efficient for providers. Maximizing the potential of cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence and mobile technologies, GenieMD is transforming health care to provide the best and fastest care to patients, when they need it most. To learn more about GenieMD, visit www.geniemd.com.

 

Expansion to Denver’s growing tech hub accelerates Sphere’s growth and investment in its technology.

Nashville, TN, August 20, 2020Sphere, Powered by TrustCommerce, a leading provider of end-to-end integrated payments and security software, today announced it has opened a new office in the Denver area. Located in Westminster, this expansion represents continued growth and investment in its technology operations. The satellite office will house IT professionals who focus on software engineering, customer experience, business analysis and more.

To augment our flagship technology center in Santa Ana, California, the Denver area was a natural choice for Sphere. A growing tech hub, Denver is a top 10 market for technology talent. The location will provide geographic diversity for hiring of IT skillsets as well as availability of experienced payments industry professionals.

Sphere is a technology-forward organization; its end-to-end payment solutions enable clients to securely and flexibly process payments via multiple channels using its own proprietary applications and integrations with third-party software vendors. Further, Sphere’s comprehensive suite of security products, which includes PCI Validated Point to Point Encryption and tokenization, helps clients manage risk, reduce costs, and maintain compliance.

“The expansion into the new Denver facility demonstrates our investment into attracting top talent who will help us continue to drive our product and technology roadmap forward,” said Steve Rizzuto, Chief Executive Officer of Sphere.

Last year, Sphere hired Daryl Seaman to lead its Information Technology group with the primary objective of increasing Sphere’s capability and capacity and continuing to advance its commitment to excellence. Mr. Seaman is a 35-year veteran of the payments industry, having served in executive roles at two of the largest acquirers, First Data Corporation and TSYS.

“Choosing the Denver area was a no-brainer,” said Daryl Seaman, Chief Information Officer of Sphere. “We wanted a location with top technology talent in the payments space in the Mountain Time Zone to work closely with our operations in Santa Ana, CA and Irving, TX. Denver fit the bill perfectly and we can’t wait to further develop the team.”

Sphere has open positions in Information Technology in the Westminster and Santa Ana offices and is excited to accelerate product and technology growth with this location.

 

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About Sphere
Sphere, powered by TrustCommerce, is a software and financial technology company providing integrated solutions that reduce friction and facilitate better and more secure commercial interactions with customers in specialized vertical markets, primarily healthcare, non-profit, transportation and education. Sphere’s integrated payments technology and security software enable its clients to process payments in a way that is highly secure and compliant, integrated with their core business software, omnichannel, and processor-neutral. Sphere’s partner-centric focused payments solutions serve small, midsize and enterprise level businesses and software companies in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. For news and thought leadership, visit the Sphere Blog.

 

Sphere and Unified Practice now offer secure, integrated payments solutions to the Holistic Medicine market.

Nashville, TN, July 7, 2020Sphere, the leading provider of end-to-end integrated payments and security software, today announced it has made a strategic investment in Unified Practice, a leading technology company that provides a fully integrated practice management and EHR system within the Holistic Medicine market. This relationship advances Sphere’s broader strategy to expand and deepen its integrated payment solutions within high-growth vertical markets, specifically healthcare.

Based in Denver, Colorado, Unified Practice provides a clinic management system for independent clinics offering Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), massage and physical therapy. Their innovative technology gives practices the tools to manage their clinic all in one place. Unified Practice will offer clients Sphere merchant processing and secure gateway, leveraging frictionless boarding to facilitate easy onboarding.

A single source for technology and merchant processing, Sphere’s secure payment platform supports:

  • Card-present and card-not-present transactions
  • Tokenization for secure data storage, card on file, and recurring payments
  • Validated Point to Point Encryption

“Unified Practice’s reputation for providing innovative technology and superior service makes them a natural fit for Sphere,” said Steve Rizzuto, Chief Executive Officer of Sphere. “The combination of Sphere and Unified Practice solutions will deliver a user-friendly and secure payment experience that is highly efficient. We are thrilled to have Unified Practice leverage Sphere’s technology platform.”

“A strategic partnership with Sphere was a no-brainer for us.” Peter Ungureanu, Chief Executive Officer of Unified Practice said. “By combining our innovative technologies, we’re able to provide our clinics with a seamless end-to-end payment processing system that streamlines the checkout process. Unified Practice’s main goal is to make managing clinics as easy as possible for our practitioners and having an integrated payment processor like Sphere in place is an important piece of that goal.”

 

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About Sphere
Sphere, powered by TrustCommerce, is a software and financial technology company providing integrated solutions that reduce friction and facilitate better and more secure commercial interactions with customers in specialized vertical markets, primarily healthcare, non-profit, transportation and education. Sphere’s integrated payments technology and security software enable its clients to process payments in a way that is highly secure and compliant, integrated with their core business software, omnichannel, and processor-neutral. Sphere’s partner-centric focused payments solutions serve small, midsize and enterprise level businesses and software companies in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. For news and thought leadership, visit the Sphere Blog.
About Unified Practice
Unified Practice is a technology company that provides a fully integrated clinic management software for TCM practitioners. At its core, Unified Practice builds technology that synchronizes and supports the complex work of Chinese Medicine practitioners from streamlining, scheduling and patient care, to unifying administrative functions and practice management. Designed to work the way practitioners think, Unified Practice understands practitioners’ unique processes to provide the support necessary to harmonize their work lives. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For news and updates, visit the Unified Practice blog.

Solution delivers safe and compliant ways for veterinary practices to take payments via many channels that automatically post to practice management software.  

Nashville, TN, June 18, 2020—Sphere, the leading provider of end-to-end integrated payments and security software, and Sikka Software, a market leader in advancing retail healthcare connectivity, today announced their integrated payments platform called Sikka Payments is now available for the veterinary market.

Sikka Payments joins Sphere’s technology and merchant processing with Sikka Software’s innovative practice solutions to streamline collections and payment acceptance. The solution enables veterinary practices to accept client payments securely from a variety of channels.

As practices are now adapting to accommodate social distancing, the need for flexible, self-service methods for clients to pay is paramount.  Whether in person, online, mobile, text and/or card on file, the innovative Sikka Payments platform delivers safe and compliant ways for vet practices to take payments. These transactions automatically post back to the veterinarian’s compatible practice management software (PiMS) for greater efficiency.

Features include:

  • Flexible modes of payments for the pet parents, including mobile, SMS and web-based, to enable payments on the go.
  • Easy-to-use desktop application that sits next to the PiMS so everything is on a single screen. Payments are posted automatically back to the PiMS in real-time.
  • Supports tokenization and validated point-to-point encryption to enable secure card on file payments and safe transaction processing.
  • Ability to create set it and forget it installment plans. For those who cannot pay in full at the time of service, customized, automatic payment plans can improve collections.
  • Push requests for payments, allowing clients to complete the payment on their phone without the need to come to a waiting room or shared card reader.

“While self-service payments have been on the rise for years, the current environment has greatly accelerated the need to allow customers to pay with their mobile devices.  The work we have done with Sikka has prepared clients to quickly adapt, allowing them to continue to collect payments as interaction within their waiting rooms and front desks has been reduced,” said Steve Rizzuto, Chief Executive Officer of Sphere.

“The payment experience is undergoing fundamental changes for veterinary practices, particularly in the era of social distancing,” said Vijay Sikka, Chief Executive Officer of Sikka Software. “Sikka Payments, powered by Sphere, will provide pet parents with the flexible methods they need to pay their vet bills, and at the same time, automate many of manual processes at the front desk. No solution in the market enables the level of 360-degree integration offered with Sikka Payments.”

To learn more, visit: Sikka Payments for Veterinarians

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About Sphere
Sphere, powered by TrustCommerce, is a software and financial technology company providing integrated solutions that reduce friction and facilitate better and more secure commercial interactions with customers in specialized vertical markets, primarily healthcare, non-profit, transportation and education. Sphere’s integrated payments technology and security software enable its clients to process payments in a way that is highly secure and compliant, integrated with core business software, omnichannel, and processor-neutral. Sphere’s partner-centric focused payments solutions serve small, midsize and enterprise level businesses and software companies in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

 

About Sikka Software
Sikka Software is helping to rethink the retail healthcare market using a single API cloud platform with Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics. Focusing on non-physician practices in dentistry, audiology, veterinary, optometry, chiropractic, orthodontic and oral surgery etc., Sikka Software now has over 34,000 practice installations on its platform. These are businesses where the primary skilled worker is also the owner who needs tools to digitize their practice and help them make more real-time, optimized decisions. Sikka Software API and cloud platform connect to 90% of the retail healthcare market including practice management systems and financial software. For more information, please visit https://sikkasoft.com.

Advantages of Adopting Flexible Payment Methods in Healthcare

By Ryne Natzke, Sphere and Vince Martino, Chief Product Officer, VisitPay

PaymentsJournal, a leading payments and banking news and information portal, recently published an article co-authored by Ryne Natzke, Vice President of Strategic Accounts and Healthcare at Sphere and Vince Martino, Chief Product Officer, VisitPay.

Click to read the full article.

Below is an excerpt.

In healthcare, the payment process differs from virtually all other industries in one significant way: patients do not pay for the bulk of the service received themselves because their insurance companies do.

American healthcare consumers have come to expect that their insurers will handle most billing issues with their medical providers. However, the responsibility has started to shift in recent years.  Patients are increasingly paying more of their own medical costs due to rising health insurance deductibles and escalating out-of-pocket expenses.  This year, for example, individuals with commercial insurance will be responsible for 20% to 35% of the cost of the healthcare they receive. For hospitals and health systems, this means that 20% to 35% of their total revenue must now be collected directly from the consumer. …