As the industry grows and changes at a rapid pace, more and more provider offices are becoming increasingly concerned at the increase in patient responsibility. Employers are continually looking for ways to save money on increasing healthcare costs. In order to save and still offer employees healthcare coverage, many employers are moving to higher deductible plans leaving patients to pay more out of pocket. As patient responsibly continues to rise, patients are having more influence in the payment process to providers. By expanding payment channels, providers will be able to collect more payments effectively.
83 percent of providers surveyed said it took longer than 30 days to collect payments from patients after insurance carriers paid claims.
Patient Interaction – A key factor in facilitating payments is to make attempts to collect payments at any interaction point with patients. When scheduling appointments, calling for prescription refills, diagnosis followups, lab results etc., notify patients they have outstanding payments due and begin the process of collecting.
Technology – 72 percent of patients prefer to pay bills online. It is estimated in 2016 consumers will spend $300 billion online. The ability to take payments online is another key factor in increasing payment collection from patients. Website and online access give patients a 24/7 ability to go online and make payments without the need for staff interaction.
Cultural – Training staff to prepare and enable them to collect payments more frequently is another factor in increasing revenue. implementing tools and policies such as prompt pay discounts, staff incentive programs, minimum payment requirements, and scripts to assist them when interacting with patients are other effective ways to collect revenue.
Expanding payment channels will assist with better management in revenue cycle and lowering the aging of accounts.