Exciting news! Health iPASS features prominently in a recent report produced by Financial Technology Partners in conjunction with QED Investors entitled, “Healthcare Payments: Consumerization and Digitization Create a Massive FinTech Opportunity.” This in-depth report provides a well-researched and complete picture of the healthcare financial landscape, outlines challenges, and presents emerging technologies that address these challenges.Read More
Let’s face it—most people do not enjoy going to the doctor. Many people dislike it so much they avoid going even when they should, leading to poorer health outcomes. While providing a better patient experience may not get them skipping in the door, it will lead to happier, more loyal patients who are more likely to come in when they have a health concern. You cannot afford to ignore the patient experience any longer, for the health of your patients and your practice. Here are a few examples of what your patients hate most about your check-in process, and how you can turn their frowns upside down!
Problem #1: Being asked to arrive 15-30 minutes early to fill out forms. And forms. And forms.
For me as a patient, this one looms large. I have three children, and the number of forms I have to manually fill out at all of their various healthcare provider appointments is enough to give anyone carpal tunnel syndrome. Compounding the problem is the fact that people just do not handwrite things anymore. (Check out “The Uncertain Future of Handwriting” on the BBC website for an interesting analysis if you are so inclined.) When they are asked to do so, the task is cumbersome and often the legibility of the writing is terrible. Now your staff is left with attempting to decode what the patient has written and manually enter it into your EHR. Talk about a system that seems tailored to cause insurance denials.
The Health iPASS Solution
Digital forms. Do I hear angels singing? Health iPASS will text your patients a link that allows them to fill out customizable forms before they arrive at your office on their own devices. No printing of forms. No clipboard or pens. And of course, clearer forms that automatically write back to your PM system. Is it magic? No, it’s Health iPASS.
Problem #2: Not knowing what they owe and when they owe it
Don’t get me wrong, I love my doctor, and I know his front desk staff is working hard for me and other patients. However, it drives me crazy how inconsistent they can be about collecting my copay. Sometimes they ask for it. Sometimes they say I don’t have one. Sometimes I pay and get a refund. Sometimes I don’t and get a bill months later. To top it all off, there have been situations in which I go to a series of appointments for long-term treatment and am told numerous times I do not have a copay, only to be informed that I have an enormous bill at the end of it all. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pay my $30 a visit at the time of service than be hit with a $300 bill weeks later. Which leads me to #3…
Problem #3: Having public discussions about their bill with front desk staff
I get it, doctors need to get paid just like everyone else. However, it can be off-putting to your patients (and your staff) to have discussions about their financial delinquency at the front desk with people standing in line behind them. Many times patients have not paid their bills because they didn’t even know they had them, or the communication of costs was unclear.
The Health iPASS Solution
Our solution for both of these issues (2 & 3) is making it incredibly easy for patients to view & understand costs, as well as making payment a breeze. Through our platform, patients can check-in, verify their benefits and view a detailed list of charges with a few taps on their own devices or on one of our kiosks in-office. Patients can also choose to leave their payment information on file in a secure, tokenized format and opt-in for autopayment of residual balances on a visit-by-visit basis. Our platform eliminates the need for awkward financial conversations with patients & provides a very private, yet retail-like payment experience that your patients will love.
Problem #4: Having your office constantly make copies of insurance cards and ID
While the average patient may not know that medical identity theft is a very real threat, they know that it feels a little sketchy providing paper copies of their insurance cards and IDs on a regular basis. How can patients be sure their sensitive information is stored securely? Isn’t there a better way for staff to verify the identity and insurance eligibility of patients without the manual tasks of making copies and inputting information, not to mention using all that paper? Yes, there is!
The Health IPASS Solution:
Health iPASS’s insurance verification process is now powered by VerifAI, which uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and artificial intelligence to pull information automatically from a patient’s insurance card. If you are not a tech person (um, hi, that’s me), the process is similar to when you scan an image of your credit card to pay for something online, and the information automatically populates on the checkout page of the website where you are shopping. VerifAI eliminates the need for paper copies and for the manual data entry that can lead to claim denials from human error. No more taking insurance info over the phone, no more paper copies that need to be securely stored and shredded when the time comes. Clean, simple, and automatic. Nice.
Problem #5: Feeling unsafe at your office because of poorly executed COVID-19 policies
Many of us are getting used to the drill of mask, hand sanitizer, and maybe even some sterile gloves when entering a public space and standing at least 6 feet apart in lines. It’s becoming second nature for workers to wipe everything down in between customers just like healthcare providers have always done between patients. Likewise, patients and consumers expect everything to be shipshape when they enter and leave your office. The more reassured your patients feel about your COVID-19 procedures, the more loyal they will be to your practice—and they will spread the word, not the virus, to their friends and families.
Conversely, if your practice is not taking the proper measures to ensure that patients feel safe at your office during the pandemic, they will be on social media in no time, complaining about your practice and requesting recommendations for another medical provider. Yikes.
The Health iPASS Solution
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, tech experts were already advising providers to rethink the traditional waiting room. These days, your patients are looking for a personalized, yet touch-free way to check-in, view their benefits, make payments, and fill out forms. Health iPASS is ready with our Express Check-In that delivers a virtual waiting room experience your patients will love. You can even send customized visit instructions and COVID-19 screening questions directly to your patients’ devices as they wait safely in their vehicles for their appointment time to arrive. Providing the best patient experience possible is like sending your patients a warm, yet virtual hug that makes them feel valued.
There you have it – the way to your patients’ hearts is a system that takes the things they hate most about medical check-ins and turning them into simple, tech-enabled processes that also happen to ease many staff operational burdens. Check out our website to schedule a demo of how Health iPASS does all these things, and more!
*This post orginally appeared on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-5-things-your-patients-hate-check-in-process-allyson-howard/
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
In the movie Field of Dreams, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella repeatedly hears the now famous phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” whispered by a ghostly baseball player who is glimpsed walking through the cornfield. Kinsella is inexplicably compelled to build a baseball field on his farm in hopes that legendary baseball players will play on his property. Can those in the healthcare industry cock an ear for just a moment to hear a similar distant call? If you listen closely, you can hear it on the wind: “If you inform them, they will pay.”Read More
Take a look around in nature, and you will see thousands upon thousands of examples of symbiotic relationships between different organisms. Symbiotic relationships are those in which both parties experience mutual benefits. Think of the clown fish and anemone in Finding Nemo. As Health iPASS continues our mission to lead patient revenue cycle management we continuously seek this type of win-win relationship with those who swim in our same industry fishbowl.Read More
Jim Henson’s beloved character Kermit the Frog famously said, “It’s not easy being green.” However, due to the technological advances in our modern society, going green has actually become simpler and more beneficial to businesses and consumers than ever. How can healthcare providers do their part? One significant step in the right direction is switching to a paperless billing and payment system.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
In an article posted April 19th, 2018 based on an interview with Health iPASS CEO Rajesh Voddiraju, Crain’s Chicago Business senior reporter John Pletz asks the question, “How much will you owe for that doctor's appointment?” This very question is what drove Rajesh to found Health iPASS after his own family was faced with medical billing frustrations due to a lack of clarity in the patient collection process.Read More
In a world where online bill payment has become the norm, the healthcare industry has woefully lagged behind when it comes to providing convenient and transparent billing and payment methods.Read More
The following guest post was submitted by Jason Meyer, CEO of Frost-Arnett. For more information on the Frost-Arnett/Health iPASS partnership, please click here.
The proliferation of high deductible health plans (HDHP) has resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of healthcare that is paid directly from the patient. Per The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank, in 2016 the average deductible was $1,478, up 49% from 2011. Further, it is estimated that 25% of Americans now have high-deductible plans and there is no signs of that slowing down. As the out-of-pocket portion of the overall healthcare bill has increased dramatically, so has the amount that healthcare providers write off and end up in the bad debt setting. This has CFO’s, Directors of Revenue Cycle and Physician Practice Managers looking for alternative ways to collect more from their patients at the time of service.
With over 125 years of experience, Frost-Arnett is intimately familiar with the issue of collecting patient balances and the growing issue it is presenting our clients. As such, we continually monitor the marketplace for alternative ways we can help our clients improve collections, reduce accounts receivable outstanding and increase cash flow. We were very intrigued by the Health iPASS solution from the moment that we met Rajesh and his team. The front-end of the healthcare system – especially in the physician practice setting - has been historically very inefficient in collecting the patient portion.
Typically that position is staffed by someone who has likely not been with the practice for a long time, has no incentive to ask for co-pays or past due balances and typically has not been trained to handle that process efficiently. Additionally, often the technology for the practice to estimate the patient pay portion of their bill is not present at the time of check in. So the point of service is not equipped to estimate and collect that amount at the time of the visit.
Topics: Patient Check-in, Revenue Cycle Management, Point of Service Payments, Patient Consumerism, The HealthiPASS Solution, Patient Check-In Kiosks, Patient Debt, Medical Billing, healthcare payments, patient pay