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.