With un-collectable healthcare costs estimated above $120 billion annually, providers are seeking innovative and streamlined patient friendly billing services to not only increase revenue, but also to increase patient satisfaction.
While more than 80% of office-based healthcare providers have incorporated electronic health records, the vast majority continue to struggle to offer patient friendly billing that is best suited for to collect payment for services rendered. This is complicated by the recent precipitous rise in high-deductible healthcare plans and more patients being billed directly for a greater percentage of medical costs.
Act now to learn how Omedix is leveraging technology to offer a full suite of Patient Engagement tools for your medical practice that have proven to improve patient satisfaction.
Follow these three primary patient friendly billing interactions a medical provider has with their patient that are ideal for discussing the financial commitment, and exploring ways to secure payment for services rendered, and you’ll increase patient satisfaction.
By far, the most effective way to secure payment for services, and set the stage for a sound financial policy for your practice, is by collecting the co-pay prior to the appointment. But how do you do it?
- Have the billing conversation when setting the appointment. Long gone are the days when providers didn’t need to think in business terms; those who survive are becoming proactive, and this includes communicating about the finances before patients ever see a physician.
- Collect at least a portion of payment pre-visit. With high deductibles and patients responsible for more of their bill, collecting payment pre-visit means higher collection rates, fewer no-shows, and better positive cash flow.
- Patient Reminders tied to Bill Pay. With reminders, your practice should be also offering payment options such as card on file, text-to-pay and ACH (direct bank payment) places medical services payment on a par with bills like auto repairs and utilities.
Time of service
By training staff to proactively engage in the financial discussion with your patient at the time of service, and the ability to offer convenient patient friendly billing solutions, providers decrease the need for later collection efforts.
- Implement a clear financial policy and don’t expect passive acquiescence. Ensure compliance with your policy by incorporating the billing conversation into the service workflow.
- From reception to check-out, give patients the opportunity to take care of their bill at time of service.
- Offer creative payment solutions with multiple options, to include card swipe POS and self-service kiosk payment centers, reasonable in-house payment plans with policy-based down payment amounts, or ACH.
Collecting medical bills post-visit is the most costly and least effective, yet has historically been the only collection method healthcare providers employed. A recent Harvard study confirmed that medical bills continue to be the top reason for personal bankruptcies in the United States, and are often filed by people who have health insurance. In today’s volatile economy, medical bills are frequently the last to be paid.
- Incorporate a secure payment solution at the point of service that both encrypts and tokenizes credit card data, medical providers can now securely store credit card data without risk of security exposing personally identifiable information for future patient responsibility.
- Connecting this “token” with SMS for one-click payments. When tied closely to a detailed financial policy, providers are enabled to easily charge the “Card-On-File” for any remaining financial commitment.
Developing Patient Friendly Billing practices are not only good for positive financial outcomes, it also lays the groundwork to increase patient satisfaction. But, ensuring high collection rates from your patients requires your medical practice to engage in the financial discussion early and secure payments before the office visit, at the time of service, and post-visit.
To learn how Omedix enables providers with a comprehensive medical payment platform, designed to improve patient satisfaction, contact us today for a demo.