As a result, more patients are paying directly for their health services — and many providers have seen an increase in accounts receivable (A/R) and billing costs.Payment Portals Can Improve Self-Pay Collections and Support Meaningful Use
Increased electronic engagement between healthcare providers and patients provides significant opportunities for improving revenue cycle metrics and encouraging patients to access EHRs.Two Ways to Eliminate Your Billing Hassles
Electronic payments have the potential for faster collections from self-pay patients because they eliminate mail transit and check processing times. A 2012 internal study of payment data provides insight into electronic payment speed. The results suggest healthcare providers can lower accounts receivable and billing-related costs by offering online payment portals.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.