Many hospitals and healthcare systems seek to improve their bottom-line by implementing new health payment systems. When selecting these health payment systems, hospital executives should keep in mind all features of the payment solution, including software back-end functionality. Healthcare facilities of all sizes face the intricacies of layered economic components associated with patient payments, such as private insurance, government-backed programs, and miscellaneous payments—all crucial elements in keeping a healthcare organization afloat. These challenges exist alongside traditional accounting processes such as managing revenue, cash flow, and back-end operations.
The Correlation Between Accounting, Financial Health, and Patient Satisfaction
The general ledger happens entirely on the back end—accounting for miscellaneous payments such as donations to nonprofits, parking, fundraisers, durable medical equipment, and fitness classes. Managing the general ledger is often a challenge for provider organizations.
Accounting for the general ledger and miscellaneous payments can be taxing for administrative and billing staff. This is because healthcare organizations have two separate systems—one for accounts receivable payments and one for the general ledger. This means administrative staff have to submit patient payments to accounts receivable, then navigate to a separate system to submit payment for non-patient items and services. Managing and reconciling two is a hassle for providers and patients—causing larger issues with efficiency, patient satisfaction, and financial health.
A robust health payment solution allows healthcare organizations to process all payments in one easy-to-use platform. Automating general ledger payments allows providers to reduce the amount of manual entry and human error. Some studies estimate that four out of five bills contain at least some minor errors. Billing errors can have dire consequences for organizations of all sizes—overcharges, claim denials, delayed reimbursements, excessive administrative workload, and litigation are just a few of the costly consequences. Billing errors and fraud cost healthcare organizations an estimated $68 billion annually. Automating how payment is collected reduces error, allows staff to reprioritize their time to focus on more important tasks, improves the patient financial experience, and helps leaders manage the bottom line.
Strong financial performance is associated with patient satisfaction—the defining factor of distinguished quality of care and safety standards. Studies suggest that financially stable healthcare organizations are better suited to maintain reliable systems and provide resources for overall improvement and growth.
HealthPay24: An Efficient Reconciliation Solution
As a twenty-year veteran in the healthcare industry, HealthPay24 transforms the patient payment experience to ensure an effortless payment process on the front end and a seamless reconciliation process on the back end.
With HealthPay24’s Non-Patient General Ledger Payments feature, providers can easily accept miscellaneous both patient and non-patient payments. HealthPay24’s system also ensures that payments are automatically posted to the correct cost center, adds bulk items to the general ledger, and manages and reports on postings from a singular, consolidated view. This means providers can say goodbye to the inefficient practice of switching back and forth between accounts receivable and the general ledger.
The General Ledger feature allows provider organizations to automatically post payments to the specified chart of accounts utilizing the assigned payment methods (cash, check, credit card, and ACH), issue receipts, and perform end-of-day cash management batch balancing. Add any healthcare general ledger payment to the cart and it will be reconciled in real time via a seamless integration with the existing financial system.
By investing in efficient payment processes and automating the reconciliation process, healthcare leaders have the opportunity to reduce the amount of manual entry, and billing errors, while concurrently allowing staff to redirect their time to more important tasks that improve the patient experience and the bottom line.
How Deaconess Health System Used HealthPay24 to Address Its General Ledger Problems
Based in Evansville, Indiana, Deaconess Health System is a major provider of healthcare services to thirty-five counties in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Deaconess has continued to provide a high quality of care for twenty-five years. Deaconess is committed to growth and patient-centered care, but even the most driven organizations face accounting challenges.
In 2016, Deaconess was searching for a health payment system that could improve efficiency and reduce the number of manual steps required by their collection process. The workflow at the time required manually recording credit card information, transferring it to the posting department to run through their processor EPX, and manually posting the receivable.
Deaconess and HealthCare Resource Solution (HRS)—Deaconess’ third-party billing office—made the joint decision to choose the best health payment system. They settled on HealthPay24.
“Our relationship with HealthPay24 originally began because we were looking for a way to manage and reconcile non-operational payments more efficiently,” said Autumn Link, Director of Finance for Deaconess. “Once we implemented their non-patient General Ledger Solution, we continued to build our relationship on the patient payments side.”
In addition to accepting and reconciling patient payments, Deaconess processes approximately 186 separate non-operational services through HealthPay24’s non-patient General Ledger Solution. These transactions are processed from approximately 291 internal and external Deaconess locations, including transactions such as employee benefits, wellness classes, event registrations, durable medical equipment, and donations to foundations.
“HealthPay24’s general ledger solution allows us to track and reconcile our non-operational transactions much easier. Instead of having to manually create and record journal entries, the transactions are automatically posted through a file we receive every day that interfaces directly into our general ledger system,” said Autumn.
Leaders from other healthcare organizations report similar outcomes after implementing HealthPay24’s health payment systems.
“HealthPay24 offered the ability to create payment plans and allow patients to set the plans up on their own. The system reduced some follow-up phone calls for us. Prior to the inception of HealthPay24, patients had to remember to mail in a check or contact our billing department on a monthly basis to make payments. With HealthPay24, we saw a lot more payments being made on our website. We also saw a reduction in duplicate payments. Now, we send a payment file to HealthPay24 so that patients can get real-time balance updates on the website.”
HealthPay24 is unique in offering providers and healthcare organizations a fully-equipped health payment system while also providing industry-leading solutions for both patient and non-patient transactions.
HealthPay24’s General Ledger feature offers a host of cutting-edge accounting benefits:
- Automated batch posting
- Simplified reporting
- A completely automated experience
- Consolidated patient and non-patient payments
An Accounting Solution for Your Healthcare Organization
HealthPay24’s SaaS platform offers providers an omnichannel patient experience that includes an intuitive portal, text, IVR, and app payment selections. Payment plan options, financial counseling, and non-recourse loans offer patients financial peace of mind. The General Ledger solution allows providers to efficiently process and reconcile patient and non-patient payments alike—reducing administrative burden and helping healthcare organizations focus on other goals.
HealthPay24 has been a leader in the healthcare sector for over twenty years. Our business is built on a foundation of trust, dedication, and some good old-fashioned teamwork. If you are interested in maximizing your organization’s patient self-pay revenue by providing innovative and comprehensive payment solutions, please visit us at https://www.healthpay24.com/.