Addressing the Problems of Collecting Patient Payments in Healthcare
As we have addressed before, the rise of high deductible health plans (HDHP) have led to a sharp increase in patient payment responsibilities, which in turn has led them to demand more price transparency, a high level of communication on the cost of care via digital channels, and easier and more convenient ways to pay. As a result of the rise of patient as a payer, most medical practices are proactively seeking to implement technology that automates the patient revenue cycle and removes the uncomfortable conversations about collecting outstanding patient payment balances. On the back end, the traditional method of sending paper statements has become incredibly expensive and outdated and is not an effective way to collect patient payments.
Medical providers must recognize that they will see a larger percentage of their future revenue streams come from patient out-of-pocket expenses and adapt their approach, processes, and systems in order to improve patient collections while also creating and maintaining a good relationship with patients.
Below is a brief summary of some of the best practices to improve patient collection while also improving patient satisfaction and retention rates. These practices are expanded upon in the whitepaper.
Practices need to increase awareness and accountability. Being able to recognize what is working and what is not can go a long way towards creating an effective team. It might be beneficial to create a baseline of current revenue cycle metrics and then comparing that baseline with good external benchmarks. Practices should focus on process improvement aimed at boosting patient yield (net patient collections – patent billing & collection expenses over total patient responsibility).
As we discussed earlier, there is an increased demand from patients for price transparency. Now that a high percentage of the healthcare payments are coming from patients themselves, they want clear and concise information on how much they will owe. Surveys have showed that patients prefer having the option to keep a credit card on file to automatically pay residual balances under $200. Technology is at the forefront of the move from healthcare patient revenue cycle status quo and practices should utilize it. Technology can act as a “digital assistant” by taking over many of the back-end revenue cycle tasks.
Now more than ever, it is beneficial for practices to have a good relationship with patients. One way to do this is by providing appointment reminders via preferred digital communication channels. Confirm the date and time of the appointment, include special visit instructions and a Google map/directions of the office location, proactively have forms (e.g. - Consent to Treat, Financial Policy) filled out prior to the visit, and send the information to them via SMS text and/or email. Sending patients appointment info leads to fewer missed appointments, less time filling out forms at the office, and an opportunity to pay down outstanding balances via a patient portal which in turn leads to more effective patient payment collections.
By incorporating some of these practices, providers can optimize patient payments and increase revenue while boosting patient engagement and retention. Utilizing the latest tech-enabled patient RCM management solutions, such as Health iPASS, is the right choice for practices who wish to thrive now and in the face of additional forthcoming patient revenue cycle changes in the healthcare industry.
The updated version of the whitepaper will be available under “White Papers” in the Resources tab. You can download that whitepaper, or any other Health iPASS whitepaper by visiting the whitepaper page or clicking on the link below.
We’re sorry you couldn’t join us back on September 27 for our webinar on the value of automating your patient revenue cycle to accelerate positive performance. The webinar was presented by Health iPASS Founder and CEO Rajesh Voddiraju and Kate Cullip, Business Office Director at Colorado Allergy & Asthma Centers.Read More
State mottos are interesting things. No one spends much time thinking about them unless they are playing the license plate game or working on a 4th grade social studies project. However, as the Health iPASS team heads out to the Golden State for the California Bones (C-Bones) conference next weekend, May 31-June 4, 2018, we think that California’s state motto is particularly apt for the occasion: Eureka! This term was coined by Greek mathematician Archimedes meaning, “I have found it,” and refers to the discovery of gold in California that kicked off the famous Gold Rush. We are confident that you will see that there is so much to find at the C-Bones Conference!Read More
After a damning 2014 report by the Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute which gave 43 out of 50 states an “F” on healthcare price transparency, many states are moving to make a change. For example, Colorado’s Transparency in Health Care Prices Act, which went into effect in January of 2018, requires hospitals to post self-pay prices for the 15 most common procedures. As Health iPASS heads to the 2018 Utah MGMA conference, we can’t help but wonder how this recent legislation in Colorado will affect price transparency for its neighbor, Utah.
Adopting a revenue cycle management tool like Health iPASS can help your practice weather the storm as state legislation and consumer demand for healthcare price transparency continue to increase. Come visit Mark McGregor at Booth #9 at the Utah MGMA conference to find out how Health iPASS can help your practice provide greater price transparency while increasing your operating income, lowering collection costs, and boosting patient engagement and satisfaction.
Colorado’s 2018 price transparency legislation is only the beginning of this watershed year for healthcare. At the time of this post, at least 16 other states are working on ways to lower costs and help patients understand their healthcare financial responsibilities. No matter where you look, it appears that there’s a healthcare price transparency storm brewing, and it’s coming your way. It begs the question, where’s your umbrella? Read More
One of my favorite things about working on the Health iPASS team is the opportunity to meet our community at trade shows and conferences so they can see with their own eyes the benefits of our solution. Myself and Health iPASS VP of Business Development Joel Rosenfield will be attending the 26th annual American Association of Dermatology Administrators (ADAM) meeting from February `12 - 14th at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA and would like to extend an invitation to schedule a demo and see firsthand the value of our our solution..Read More