According to the American Hospital Association, US hospitals wrote off over $42 billion as uncollectible in 2013. According to the Kaiser Foundation, that number more than doubles when including community and office-based physicians nationwide; yet less than 60% of providers offer a convenient online bill pay for their patients. With mounting costs and diminishing reimbursement, every medical practice must offer a Patient online bill pay in order to proactively remain competitive and financially viable.
The problem is complicated. Although consumers are accustomed to paying their mortgage and car payment via the internet, paying their medical bill online is not as common. In study after study, over 1/2 of all patients will wait more than a month to pay their doctor bill if received in the mail. Offering an easy and convenient method for your patients to pay their bill will expedite payments, and overwhelmingly they say they would prefer if their doctor provided a user-friendly Patient online bill pay solution.
Creating a payment system is about more than convenience for patients, however. Physicians are facing declines in reimbursement, strains on human resources to comply with the growing mountain of regulations and painful increases in operating expenses. Doctors are concerned about how to provide a viable system that makes Patient online bill pay easily available while remaining in compliance with both PCI Compliance and HIPAA. And they don’t have a lot of extra time to learn a complicated system.
The solution is simple. While only about half of all physicians have fully implemented electronic health records, that number is rising steadily. As an element of a fully integrated patient portal, or a stand-alone service, Patient online bill pay is simple to set up and user-friendly for both patients and physicians.
Integration with Practice Management is also a concern due to the need to reconcile the patient records and ensure all receivables are accounted for. For this, most patient online bill pay solutions will offer customized fields from the payment screens to collect information such as Patient ID, Invoice Number, or other practice specific data that can be easily mapped back to the Practice Management system of EHR.
By utilizing online bill pay, physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers are able to empower their patients, reduce aging accounts, limit human resource time invested in collections, and get back to the focus of providing quality medical care.
For assistance with your Patient Online BillPay solution, reach out to Omedix. Our comprehensive suite of products enhance the Patient Experience and help our medical providers get paid more.