As the share of out-of-pocket expenses continues to rise parallel to the surge of consumer-directed health plans (CDHP), it becomes harder for healthcare practice managers to maintain accurate and timely patient payment collection methods. Keep in mind that physician and ambulatory care patient payments now total over $200 billion a year and continue to soar as a larger percentage of total revenue. Adopting a modern revenue cycle solution that improves patient payment technology and virtually guarantees payment is now mission critical.
The increasing share of out-of-pocket costs due to a shift change in the industry that places more financial responsibility in the hands of patients means providers must implement more effective and transparent revenue collection techniques. This allows greater flexibility to collect a larger share of revenue upfront, reduce operational costs, establish cost transparency, and increase patient empowerment.
Here are 4 ways healthcare providers can improve patient revenue collection in 2018:
- Increase billing transparency
Healthcare is notorious for lagging behind other industries when it comes to creating a straightforward billing process. Most patients expect confusion, red tape, and mystery when it comes to understanding and paying their healthcare bills, deductibles, and insurance premiums.
In 2018, practice management providers can differentiate themselves by establishing billing transparency with patients about what is billed, to whom, and why, even before they set foot in an exam room. Be sure to implement strategies for breaking down service charges, insurance obligations, and deductible/co-pay/co-insurance responsibilities so patients can easily understand them. The more straightforward and transparent your patient payment process is, the more likely it will be paid promptly.
- Embrace advancements in technology
Many practice management providers still rely on outdated, paper based record-keeping that is susceptible to human error. In 2018, physicians and their front office staff would benefit from learning more about the distinct advantages that modern patient payment technology offers, such as automated record keeping and faster revenue collection.
By being open to newer and more efficient billing and collection patient payment revenue cycle strategies, practice management providers can offer easier and more transparent options, such as the option to set up payment plans and the use of mobile near field communication (NFC) technologies.
- Verify patient insurance early
Insurance policies vary widely in healthcare therefore you can't rely on patients to always provide the information your office needs for proper billing. It helps to verify the insurance coverage of your patients in advance of their visit so you can prepare an accurate estimate of their costs when they come in for an appointment.
Verification also makes it easier for your staff to avoid any surprises when it comes time to send bills to patients and insurance companies.
- Improve your front office staff’s soft skills
It may seem inconsequential but sometimes a compassionate ear or an understanding tone of voice can make all the difference in how a patient views their outstanding bills. Keep in mind that patients have many other things going on in their lives – the prevailing perception is that it’s not their primary job to understand their health insurance, or to provide the information you need to bill their insurance company. Train your customer-facing staff to be friendly, accommodating, empathetic, and as pleasant and transparent as possible when discussing billing – even if patients don’t return the same courtesy.
If you’re committed about improving your practice’s patient revenue collection in 2018, the HealthiPASS patient-centric system provides innovative check-in technology, convenient and transparent billing systems, and a fast, stress-free implementation process.
Schedule a demo today to see for yourself how HealthiPASS has helped previous clients collect millions in annual patient revenue, reduce denied claims, and establish cost transparency and patient loyalty.