One of the biggest challenges for healthcare providers is boosting patient responsibility collection. Due to lower monthly premiums, more individuals are choosing plans with higher deductibles and more out-of-pocket expenses for services. This increase in patient portion for medical services is a major challenge for healthcare revenue cycle management. As more patients are opting for high deductible plans, providers have to collect more payments directly from customers. As per McKinsey’s recent report providers anticipate collecting 50 percent to 70 percent of patient’s portion after they leave the office after a visit. 70 percent of providers stated it took at least a month to collect payments from patients.
Missing or late patient payments directly impact the bottom line of a provider’s business, potentially threatening the financial sustainability of the practice. To improve healthcare revenue cycle management methods, providers may need to develop more consumer-friendly options for healthcare payments. To boost patient responsibility collections, healthcare organizations may want to consider simplifying medical bills, providing electronic payment methods, and educating patients and staff about financial responsibility.
Make Easier Patient Bills
Most of the patients just have a basic understanding of medical billing terms like deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance. Patients feel that if they have insurance then insurance will completely cover medical services and they won’t have to pay anything for it. So, patients get confused after receiving medical bills from providers’ offices. Patient bills are unclear about what is owed, how to pay it, and when the balances are due.
Providers should train their staff on patient responsibility so that they can answer patient’s queries better. Providers may need to retrain their staff to effectively communicate with patients and collect payments. At the time of visit, staff should clarify a patient’s financial responsibility within the medical bill, including how much is owed, how to pay, and what services are included. If your patients can understand bills properly, your efforts on patient collection will get reduced drastically.
Many patients may not be aware of their financial responsibilities before visiting a physician. As discussed earlier, many patients enroll for high-deductible insurance plans because of lower premiums, unaware of the extent of their out-of-pocket expenses. Many providers and healthcare organizations won’t have any strategies for educating patients. As per a recent report from Navicure, less than 50% of the providers educate patients about financial responsibility and their organization’s payment policy.
You should always discuss estimates of cost with patients at every encounter. You can provide handouts that clearly define key terms such as premium, co-pay, deductible, co-insurance, and allowable. Provide accurate estimates when collecting the patient’s responsibility, as inaccuracies could generate added follow-up expenses. With accurate estimates, you can collect patient financial responsibilities or create a payment plan while a patient is still in the office.
Electronic Payment Options
As per the Instamed survey, Patients are preferring service providers with electronic payment options. Seventy percent of healthcare consumers preferred an electronic payment method to paper billing, while 64 percent also expressed an interest in paying via a mobile payment system. However, many healthcare organizations are not equipped to take electronic or credit card payments. Only 35 percent of providers keep a patient’s credit card filed in their payment system, as per the Navicure survey. Only half of the survey participants stated that their organization automates payment plans, while 57 percent reported that they did not send electronic statements to patients. Providers can store credit card information in an electronic format to reduce the time it takes to receive payments. They can also allow patients to log in to online portals and pay their bills at their convenience.
Boosting patient responsibility collection is a long-term strategy and not a one-time activity. It requires setting a goal in terms of the percentage of patient collection and how to achieve them. As most of the providers are busy streamlining their patient care they may not have sufficient time to handle patient collection. MedicalBillersandCoders can assist you in boosting your patient responsibility collection easily. With our eligibility verification services, patients will be well informed about their own responsibility and insurance coverage. We will update your staff about patient portions like deductibles, co-pay, and co-insurance at the time of visit. This will help you collect more at the time of service and fewer efforts are required for collection follow-ups. To know more about our medical billing services contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org/ 888-357-3226