Healthcare payments are stuck in the past. As a result, providers who practice the same approaches to collecting patient payments are suffering. Revenue cycle management relies on technology that is robust enough to deliver a modern approach to healthcare payments than what has been delivered in years past.
Patient Payments Are Stuck in the Past
According to an article in Bloomberg Business, only 15% of health insurers make payments to medical providers electronically. This creates a culture from the top down that allows outdated processes to persist. Healthcare leaders must set a precedent for electronic payments that can be trickled down through practices and ultimately patients.
The Modern Health Economy Continues To Move Forward
Outdated procedures prevent organizations from achieving the consumer demand for convenience and transparency in their healthcare experience. The patient experience is increasingly dictated by the healthcare consumer as they are forced to better manage their finances with high deductible health plans and resulting expenses. For perhaps the first time in our healthcare economy, younger generations are managing their own healthcare decisions. The millennial generation expects that their visit to the doctor will be clear and easy to navigate and manage.
Healthcare organizations must begin to recognize the ways in with the patient experience is changing. To be successful in coming years, catering to the expectations of younger generations is key.
3 Easy Ways To Achieve Patient Payments Success in the New Health Economy
1. Point of Service Payments
Many practices and healthcare organizations have developed a payment protocol which includes requesting the patient's portion of the bill at the time of service. Collection of payments at the time of service is increasingly facilitated with the use of technology. For example, self-service technology allows patients to estimate the cost of their services and gives them the ability to make payments quickly and conveniently upon arrival for their appointment.
2. Patient Eligibility Verification
Healthcare providers can check the patient's eligibility prior to appointments to better assess their total estimated portion of the final bill. But, as we just mentioned, it is more time efficient to allow patients to perform this service as they check-in for their appointment. This information can then be used to set a schedule of payments or to request full payment at the time of service.
3. Self-Service Technology
Other options in self-service technology include systems such as patient check-in kiosks that allow patients to check-in to their appointments on their own, eliminating the wait time and extra work by staff. Web portals are also helpful as they offer patients a convenient way to check into their account and pay balances.
While the insurance industry is just now starting to catch up with industries that have been utilizing technology to promote payments, it is imperative that healthcare organizations keeps these tools in mind in order to best meet the convenience needs of the healthcare consumer.