How many times have you been told that change is the only constant in life? It gets pretty old, am I right? Just because things are always changing doesn’t make it any easier, especially when it comes to making major changes to your practice workflow with new technology.Read More
Ever have too many errands to run, making you wish there was a one-stop shop for all your needs? What a time and energy saver that would be, am I right? Well, hey presto! If you’re an athenahealth user, we’ve got some great news for you! Health iPASS is now an MVP Marketplace Partner available in the athenahealth® Marketplace to athena’s growing network of 120,000 healthcare providers.Read More
Ever wish you could get a glimpse inside what your competitors are up to? Or perhaps get the inside scoop on how some practices seem to be enjoying high levels of operational success? Even if things are going well at your practice, it’s always nice to hear some of the steps others are taking that you might not have thought of. That’s why attending conferences can be such a great way to reinvigorate your efforts to create operational efficiencies and accelerate patient payments at your practice. Here are a few that Health iPASS will be attending in April.Read More
In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller of the perennial 80s favorite Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And oh, how true those words are, especially these days where today’s big news is tomorrow’s forgotten Instagram post. If you picked up 80s Ferris and dropped him down in 2019, he would be in for a serious culture shock. Pop culture has been changing so quickly, it could make you dizzy. However, some things are slow to change and catch up the expectations of today. One industry that is notoriously change resistant? Healthcare.Read More
Think about all of the industries that require a deposit, payment, or a payment method on file before they will perform a paid service. Anytime you go to a hotel, or have work done to your home, or even order takeout, you either need to provide a payment method or turn over cash upon delivery. Not so with healthcare. Once a patient leaves their provider’s office, there is only a 40% chance that they will pay their bill. In 30% of cases, nothing is ever paid at all. Is that any way to sustain a business?Read More
Ever feel like collecting patient payments is somewhat of a crap shoot? Statistically, it is, especially if you rely on outdated billing and payment methods like sending paper statements and allowing patient A/R to stagnate over 90+ days because you never asked for patient payment assurance. Did you know that 60 percent of all patients never pay their medical bill once they leave the office? Yikes. I don’t like those odds at all!Read More
It's no longer breaking news that medical practices across the country are struggling to keep pace with collecting rising patient payments in the era of high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and rising out-of-pocket expenses. A recent athenahealth network study, for example, found that practices collect about 40 percent of patient balances at the time of service when patients owe less than $35, and just 6 percent of what they're owed when the patient's balance is over $200. Couple that with the fact that 30 percent of patients leave the office without ever paying their bill and 60 percent of all patients never pay their medical bill once they leave the office and it's clear that providers need a new approach to managing the patient revenue cycle.
Patients represent the most difficult demographic to collect from and in an era of rising healthcare consumerism, are much more cognizant of the cost of care and their choices on who should administer that care. Patients are also beginning to expect cost of care estimates both before, at, and after the point of service, and are demanding more convenient ways to pay for the cost of care - all factors that feed into the notion that the psychology of patients is changing and providers would bode well to respond to that change by re-evaluating their existing patient revenue cycle strategy and implementing changes that speak to these behavior shifts.
The simple fact of the matter is collecting money from patients once they leave the office is expensive, especially when a balance may be owed post insurance claim adjudication. That's why so many medical providers are evaluating revenue cycle solutions that can capture a payment-on-file at the point of service to cover these balances thereby lowering accounts receivable (A/R), days in A/R, and the overall cost to collect.
Since dermatology medical providers have one of the highest out-of-pocket cost estimates for patients, the need to modernize the patient revenue cycle through automation, higher levels of price transparency, and the ability to leave payment-on-file is particularly acute. That's why we will be attending the annual Association of Dermatology Administrators and Managers Conference this week in Washington, D.C., speaking with practice leaders and offering live demos of the Health iPASS patient revenue cycle solution to providers committed to making fundamental and sustainable changes to the way they collect patient payments.
Attending the ADAM conference this year? Stop by Booth #28 and see me to talk about strategies that can improve your patient revenue cycle and lower the cost to collect. Won't be able to make the conference? You can always see a demo of the Health iPASS patient revenue cycle solution by clicking "Schedule a Demo" below.
Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Credit Card on File, Patient Payments, Patient Consumerism, Medical Billing, Dermatology, patient net collection rate, improve patient collections, provider bad debt, optimizing patient payments, patient payment, patient bad debt
Have you ever struggled to understand a difficult concept, but when presented with the right visual, everything clicked into place? Let’s face it, the healthcare patient revenue cycle is pretty darn complicated. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bird’s-eye view of the challenges faced by medical providers in terms of collecting patient payments, with a focus on an innovative solution that directly addresses those concerns?Read More
If you’ve spent any time on our website or have seen members of our sales team at a conference, you might have heard that our clients are collecting over 97% of residual balances when patients check in with Health iPASS and opt to keep a card-on-file (COF). When compared with the industry average of 12%, that’s kind of a big deal (insert winky face here). The true key to this kind of collection success is collecting payment assurance via establishing a card-on-file COF policy to pay for post-adjudication balances. That sounds great for practice managers, but what about the patients? Here are some of the objections that may arise regarding keeping patient payment information on file, and how to gently overcome them.Read More
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.