Healthcare in US has evolved considerably post-pandemic!
Financial accountability is no longer just on the shoulders of the provider; instead, patients are now held more accountable. The out-of-pocket costs for patients have also significantly increased due to high deductible plans, the annual increase in co-pays, and insurance, making it challenging for the healthcare provider to collect payments on time.
In a survey conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 32% of respondents complained about medical providers' debt collection methods, and 13% said that clinics tried to collect debts that weren't owed to them. Patient billing solutions offer revenue cycle modules to assist you in overcoming such consumer difficulties. You've come to the right place if you want to learn additional techniques for increasing patient collections.
Importance of Improving Patient Collection Workflows
Many providers still use manual and paper-based collection methods today which results in payment delays for your business and lower employee productivity.
The following are some additional difficulties that manual collecting workflows may provide for you:
- Errors in billing and coding
- A low rate of collection recovery
- Security threats
- Patient records are lost
- Difficulties with payer contracts
You can address these issues by offering digital payment choices to patients to enhance their financial experiences and by sending in-app patient reminder systems to encourage customers to make on-time payments. This article discusses various additional methods you can use to avoid collection issues.
Patient Volume: Why it Matters?
Your practice is what its patient base makes it. The leading cause of the lower patient volume in this pandemic is the patient's reluctance to visit medical offices. According to a recent survey, 29% of adults postponed medical care out of concern for COVID-19. No matter how well you treat people, you must have a steady flow of clients to avoid a loss in income.
If the pandemic's effects on your practice's revenue persist, streamlining the procedure for collecting patient payments could help you keep a healthy cash flow. Finding the areas in your collection techniques that can be improved will enable you to go forward in the appropriate direction. Here are six tested methods to increase patient collection in your practice.
Ways to Improve Patient Collections in your Practice
In today's context, patient collection tactics must go beyond the old passive approach to obtaining funds from the patient. Here are some of the ways that should be adopted:
- Collections at the point of sale (POS)
The best moment to collect money to cover the patient's financial obligation is at the time of service. The registration personnel must possess the knowledge and abilities necessary to comprehend and effectively convey the patient's financial obligations. The registration personnel should do more than only collect patient demographic data; they should also understand and explain the patient's financial obligation depending on the services received. (Note that when the provider completes the registration, the providers and practices that use POS collections are more successful.)
- Design for Patient Statements and Collection Notices
Effective communication of the balance due for medical services must be made in well-designed patient statements and correspondence provided to the patient. Effective statement design should make it simple for the patient to understand not only the balance owed but also all relevant details about the service provider, services rendered, fees charged, payer payments and adjustments, as well as the name, address, and phone number of the person to contact with questions about the statement. Many statements available today need to give the patient more details to enable them to comprehend the expenses they are being requested to pay. If a patient can relate to the services provided, you will have a better chance of getting a response.
- Programs for Patient Follow-Up
Patient follow-up programs include proactive actions to contact the patient/guarantor and regular written correspondence. The more effective programs prioritize patient follow-up based on a scoring algorithm that assesses the patient's propensity to pay, identifying the areas where follow-up efforts should be concentrated. These follow-ups should generally take place once a month via phone calls and emails as per customary practice.
- Payment Schedule Policy
In many circumstances, the ability to provide patients the option of making time-based payments or discounted amounts would incentivize the responsible party to resolve medical debt that might otherwise be unpaid. This is especially crucial when dealing with patients who are underinsured or without insurance. When patients call to ask about their accounts, a time-based arrangement is typically made using a structured schedule. The payment arrangement policy of the supplier is generally communicated orally and in writing when the service is given.
- Online patient portals
It is a common practice that is gradually evolving into a preferred method to be able to pay bills online. The use of modern technology and providing payment choices as part of a payment gateway appeals to all patients, notably younger generations. A well-designed online patient portal that gives the user-specific information about the nature of their bill is crucial, much like the patient statements provide. To safeguard the security of your patient's information and to satisfy HIPAA compliance regulations, it is essential to use a patient portal that complies with the highest security standards.
Measuring a Patient Collection Plan's Performance and Results
Metrics or key performance indicators should be defined for each principal component of a patient collection plan to track the effectiveness of the different patient collection tactics over time and make necessary adjustments to increase patient collections.
Medical practices depend on ever-increasing patient responsibility collections to sustain or reach acceptable practice earnings. Revenue cycle management must concentrate on patient collecting tactics to maximize cash collections and deliver a great patient experience in today's environment.
How AnodynePay help you improve your patient collections?
AnodynePay Medical can assist you in increasing practice revenue and meeting financial objectives. We provide a streamlined patient payment solution that concentrates on services like patient payment, patient reminders, patient statements, patient billing, and reporting, as well as more sophisticated services to safeguard your cash flow and assist in boosting patient collections.
- Improving patient collection workflows is essential to avoid specific issues.
- Patient volume directly affects the revenue.
- Patient collection tactics must go beyond the old passive approach to obtaining funds.
- There are five significant ways through which the patient collection process can be improved.
- It's essential to track the effectiveness of patient collection methods.