Slide Share: Five Technologies to Improve Patient Payments

The patient payments challenge is daunting. Patients have now become a top payer, creating a sea of change in revenue cycle management. Providers need to reexamine their collections strategy, seeking new solutions, processes, and technology to secure revenue from patient payments. Read more for the five key technology and proven methodologies that will help increase and accelerate patient payments.
Provide price transparency by generating estimates. As patients' financial responsibility has risen, so has their interest and involvement in their cost of care. Organizations can achieve higher collections and greater patient satisfaction using technology that generates estimates, enabling multitasking staff to have fast, accurate information – usually within seconds of the patient's request. If patients receive answers about what they pay versus insurance and feel confident about their cost estimate, they may be more likely to make an immediate payment.
Implement a card-on-file solution to facilitate payment and peace of mind. Patients can be wary about giving providers their credit card information because the amount they'll be charged varies from appointment to appointment. A card-on-file solution integrated with a care estimation tool allows organizations to charge up to the amount of estimation but no more. The benefits to this solution are twofold: patients will have greater peace of mind, and the seamlessness of the care estimation and card-on-file solution will reduce administrative work for staff.
Prioritize obtaining email addresses to send e-statements. Organizations should request patients' email addresses when making appointments, at time of service, or when they're collecting payments via phone. This seemingly small step can have a huge pay-off, as it opens the door to send e-statements in lieu of paper ones. Production, print, and postage, along with the administrative tasks of processing mailed payments, quickly add up. With email addresses on hand, staff can easily send email reminders and e-statements with links to an online payment portal. These steps can increase providers' likelihood of getting paid while promoting convenience for patients.
Promote online payment via a patient portal. Everyone in healthcare knows post-service payments are notoriously difficult to collect. Tools such as online payment portals can boost collections because they are easy and convenient, allowing patients to act on their own time.
Utilize automated payment plans. Using a credit-card-on-file solution also facilitates automated payment plans as an alternate to, or in addition to, a one-time charge. This important process will help decrease patient days in A/R and increase cash flow. It also helps to eliminate the staff time and expense of collecting from patients.
With healthcare organizations juggling a host of priorities, it is critical to employ technology that fits with collections strategies and promotes best practices to help maintain financial health in this era of significant change.

To learn more successful patient payment strategies, download the free white paper, Collecting from Patients: Business Critical for Today’s Medical Practices, written by industry expert and author Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC.