How’s everyone doing out there? It’s been a rough cold and flu season this year. I’ve been doing everything I can to keep myself and my family as healthy as possible. Eating healthy, getting enough rest, washing hands, taking vitamin C supplements, using all the Lysol-- it has been a job onto itself. Still, I'm jumping at every cough and constantly taking temperatures, just in case. Catching a health crisis in the early stages is crucial to decreasing the severity and duration. What if there was a way to monitor the financial health of your medical practice and a set of tools and strategies to get it back on track when it’s a little “under the weather”?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 order to see a clear solution to a complicated problem, sometimes it helps to take a step back and gain a new perspective. Let’s say your practice is struggling to find its way amid a tangle of patient payment revenue cycle woes. The best approach may be to get a view from the top to see the big picture.Read More
Throughout history, the basis for what made the world go ‘round (read, fueled the economy) has evolved over time. For many centuries, it was agriculture, then industry/manufacturing. These days, services are accounting for more and more of the world GDP — in fact increasing at a faster rate than other industries. Think about all the services you, your family, or your business uses. I’m not just talking about what you would obviously think of as services, like getting service on your car or at a restaurant, but also any business that provides an electronic or digital service like your wifi, logistical services like UPS or any trucking carrier, or computing service like hosting your information in the cloud. Another trend that has been emerging within the service industry itself is a shift from a fee-for-service model to a pay-for-performance, or performance-based contracting model. But what does that mean and is it a better model?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
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.
It's no longer a secret that medical practices across the country continue to struggle with collecting patient payments. By now, most of us know that the rise of high deductible health plans (HDHPs) are straining patients' wallets and pushing the need for providers to not only be more transparent about what patients owe up-front and post insurance claim adjudication, but also offer more flexible payment options and the ability to leave a payment-on-file for a specific encounter.
Quickly doing the math would lead one to realize that medical practice specialties providing services that result in high out-of-pocket patient expenses are more at risk from the repercussions of not modernizing their patient revenue cycle with technology that automates, increases price transparency into the cost of care, and presents more payment options including the ability to leave a payment-on-file and pro-actively set up payment plans for large balances.
Back on December 31st, Rajesh was a guest on the eHealth radio podcast, " Tackling the New Dynamics of Patient Revenue Cycle Management in the Era of Healthcare Consumerism with Eric Michaels. On the podcast, Rajesh touched on several topics related to the reality and after effects of patients now being the primary payer in revenue cycle management.
Rajesh started the interview by discussing the fast rise of patient as the primary payer of healthcare expenses due to the sharp increase in high deductible health plans (HDHPs), and the fact that practices need to find a way to adjust accordingly. There are several different payment methods to ensure that practices are optimizing patient payments. One that Rajesh mentioned, and Health iPASS uses, is allowing patients to keep a credit card on file (CCOF) to pay for any residual balances that may be owed post insurance claim adjudication. Not only does the CCOF help patients manage healthcare expenses, it can also significantly improve medical practice cash flow by quickly reducing days in accounts receivable (A/R).
With the rise of HDHPs, patients are responsible for more of their medical bill. As a result, price transparency is becoming increasingly important in the revenue cycle. Rajesh also discussed how as a result of higher out-of-pocket (OOP) costs, trust between provider and patient is more important now than ever.
“Every patient that walks into their [doctor’s office] wonders how it will impact what comes out of their pocket,” said Voddiraju, “Trust has been sorely missing in healthcare. We need to be getting more patients to believe in the billing process.”
Patients are also looking for greater price transparency and a breakdown of what they may owe for specific procedures once their insurance process the claim. That's why offering cost estimates pre-arrival, at point-of-service, at claim submission, and pre-surgery is critical to establish price transparency that builds patient trust and patient retention.
“Consumers are beginning to demand [price transparency]. There needs to be a very consumer-friendly way to making the technology.” Rajesh mentioned, “Both consumer and state/federal regulatory demands are requiring practices to rethink their revenue cycle from the time of scheduling all the way through providing and promoting price transparency.”
Additionally, Rajesh also talked about about the Health iPASS patient revenue cycle solution. Practices using the Health iPASS revenue cycle solution are recognizing 97% collection of residual balances when patients check in using the Health iPASS kiosk and place a CCOF. He mentioned how Health iPASS is taking advantage of the new technology to improve the revenue cycle for medical practices.
“Health iPASS has been able to leverage technologies such as machine learning to study information available in medical billing systems and present this in real-time at the point of service through a user-friendly, easy-to-understand patient revenue cycle solution that brings a level of price transparency to the consumer on the front end.”
Lastly, Rajesh discussed the future of healthcare. He has mentioned many times that automation and technology are at the forefront of the future for the patient revenue cycle in healthcare. In one of our recent blog posts, he reiterated that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline back-end practice tasks such as insurance eligibility and patient demographic checks, patient payment posting, and appointment reminders, will become increasingly common.
Health iPASS would like to thank Eric Michaels and the eHealth Radio Netwoek for having Raj on their program and allowing him to share the benefits of the Health iPASS revenue cycle solution. You can listen to the podcast by following this link. Read More