Bad debt levels are rising—and, ominously for healthcare providers, that includes bad debts from insured patients, who have traditionally been “good customers” from a financial perspective.
A McKinsey study projects patient-pay revenue due from insured patients will compose 35% of bad debt by 2018, up from 15% in 2010.Making a Statement: Apex Information Technologies in St. Paul is proving medical bills can be simpler—and is growing rapidly as a result
Minnesota Business Magazine | July 2013 | by Pratik Joshi. The July 2013 issue of Minnesota Business Magazine features an extended profile of Brian Kueppers and Apex’s evolution to become the leader in healthcare statement processing technology. Author Pratik Joshi describes how transitions underway in the healthcare industry make patient-friendly billing increasingly important. The article also describes the reinvention of Apex that made us ready to tackle these needs, quoting Brian Kueppers: “My goal was to find what products and solutions fit customers’ needs.”A step-by-step guide to improving your billing statements
MGMA Connexion Magazine | February 2013. For this month’s Medical Group Management Association’s monthly magazine Connexion, Apex founder and CEO Brian Kueppers authored the “Action Plan” feature article, which provides a practical, step-by-step guide to analyzing and improving your patient statements. Few projects offer higher ROI. And as the number of self-pay patients continues to increase, effective statements are more important than ever as healthcare providers try to keep their A/R levels and billing costs under control. This article lays out a series of specific, proven steps to help providers achieve best practices in statement design while also streamlining their billing-related processes. The result is better collections and higher patient satisfaction.Payment Portals Can Improve Self-Pay Collections and Support Meaningful Use
HFMA Revenue Cycle Strategist | February 2013. In this month’s newsletter for revenue cycle managers, Brian Kueppers lays out the factors that have accelerated online payment portals from “nice to have” to “must have” and outlines specific needs that must be addressed as providers take revenue collection online. Increased electronic engagement between healthcare providers and patients provides significant opportunities for improving revenue cycle metrics and encouraging patients to access EHRs. “Payment portals can provide a high ROI by speeding collections and fostering adoption of electronic statements while providing a better experience for patients and boosting utilization of EHR portals through the use of a single sign-on system. These benefits may not only improve revenue cycle metrics but also contribute to improved patient satisfaction and better relationships between patients and providers.”Two Ways to Eliminate Your Billing Hassles
DGPA Insights | February 2013. This month the Dental Group Practice Association featured an online article by Apex senior consultant Paul Benson, which covers two of the most important ways dental groups can reduce administrative cost and remove time from the billing cycle. The article features results from an internal Apex study of payment speed, showing how providers can benefit from electronic billing due to faster payment times in addition to lower costs.Increase Your Revenue Collections With Branded Statements and E-Payments
Have you ever opened your mail and found a bill that seemed unfamiliar? If so, chances are you didn’t pay immediately. This is a surprisingly common situation. Companies often don’t brand their billing statements effectively, causing recipients to be uncertain about the bill’s origin and authenticity. When that happens, recipients tend to delay payment until confirming that a bill matches up with their expectations. That’s a bad scenario for the issuer, because when recipients set aside bills, the chances are high that payments will not be made on time. This is especially common in the healthcare industry, both dental and traditional, in which patients regularly receive bills and statements from insurance companies or other third parties and are uncertain about how much and whom to pay. For dental practice groups, the result of the confusion is higher accounts receivable and a worse bottom line.DGPA Insights: How to Collect Payments Faster & Lower Your Billing Expenses
APEX’s Patrick Maurer to present at DGPA 2012
Following best practices in the billing process helps DSOs collect payments faster, lower accounts receivable levels, and spend less time and money on the billing process. As the percentage of self-pay patients rises dramatically, effective patient billing is increasingly crucial. Many dental/healthcare providers are surprised by how much money leaks out of their operations because best practices aren’t followed in the billing process. What’s equally surprising is how easy it is to fix these problems. Efforts to improve billing processes are typically among the highest-ROI projects most providers can undertake.How to Improve Collections From Self-Pay Patients
Many self-pay patients are routinely confused by their healthcare bills. An Intuit Health study released in 2011 showed that 41 percent of all patients do not have confidence that the billed amount is correct, and 57 percent of all patients have had a bill go to a collection agency. Clearer communication can prevent some of those charges from accumulating as overdue accounts receivable and eventually being forwarded to a collection agency. Here are specific steps to promote crystal clear communication and minimize collection delaysThree keys to improving self-pay patient collections
Collections from self-pay patients is a thorny issue for many providers who face administrative headaches if self-pay patients are confused about their bills or simply fail to pay in a timely fashion. Many providers are seeing their levels of accounts receivable increase as self-pay patient services increase. To improve collections, providers can redesign their patient statements to improve clarity; ensure effective branding across printed and electronic statements; and implement online technology to maximize efficiency in the billing process. Taking these steps can help minimize billing-related calls to providers’ administrative staff and shorten the average time self-paying account balances are outstanding.Patient Experience Extends Beyond the Visit
You don’t have to look farther than the billboards lining the freeways to know how important attracting and retaining patients has become to healthcare organizations. Successful healthcare organizations have found that a committed focus on improving the patient experience as much, or more than, marketing, contributes to the organization’s success.Want more efficient payments? Archive patient statements
Nurses, doctors and administrative professionals work hard to satisfy patients. But what happens after the patient leaves the facility? Increasingly, healthcare organizations are taking important steps to maintain patient satisfaction after the visit, such as making the billing process easy and technologically friendly.The Increasing Value of the Patient Statement
Third party billers focus on coding and compliance for good reason. Public and private payer requirements make receiving a timely and correct reimbursement for their customers a challenge. Add the prospect of penalties or even criminal allegations from either payers or regulatory agencies and the reason is clear. This focus highlights the third-party biller’s value proposition of cutting costs, risks and liabilities for providers. However, with the current shift to self-pay patients in today’s healthcare environment, a third-party biller’s traditional emphasis on coding and compliance ignores the main patient communication vehicle for the revenue cycle — the patient statement.Patient Friendly Statements
In the summer of 2006 a group of researchers from the HFMA’s Patient Friendly Billing Project set out to find ways to simplify the patient billing process while also searching for commonalities between high performing revenue cycle hospitals. Their research revealed that these commonalities were most consistent in the areas of People, Processes, Technology, Metrics, Communication and Culture. The HFMA stated that these high performers did not always have the “latest technology” or the most “financially desirable characteristics,” but what they did posses was a desire to create clear and understandable processes that allowed their patients to enjoy a seamless and for the most part painless healthcare experience. At Apex our core focus is assisting healthcare providers in the communications aspect of this billing initiative.E-Statements and E-Payments: Can They Reduce Your A/R?
Could you control your postage and printing costs and improve your cash flow with electronic statements and payments? If properly introduced, you could harness significant benefits and offer value to your customers, as well.