The ever-evolving healthcare system has shifted financial responsibility from insurance companies and onto healthcare patients. Healthcare providers are scrambling on how to best accommodate these new challenges for the benefit of their patients. As we navigate these murky waters, one thing is clear: old solutions will not hold up against today’s challenges. In some cases, two heads are better than one. In order for providers to rise to the occasion of increasing patient financial responsibility, leveraging technology is a valuable place to start. Let’s go over the latest industry trends and how pairing HealthPay24 with your EMR can revitalize your bottom line.
Trend: Patients are on the hook financially.
Today’s healthcare consumers struggle to meet their payment obligations due to a myriad of obstacles. Higher deductibles, inflexible payment options, and the list goes on. Case in point– PBAI rose 67 percent from 2012 to 2017. With patients shifting into the financial driver’s seat, providers now need a comprehensive strategy if they want the best outcome for repayment, and data is their best option.
Best Practice: The answer is in the data
Data and analytics can give business owners the necessary information to best allocate their payment recovery efforts. For example, data lets you distinguish between the “willing and able to play”, the “willing and unable to pay”, the “unwilling to pay”, and the “unwilling and unable to pay” patients. By leveraging your business data between HealthPay24 and your EMR, providers can identify the patients who can meet their financial obligations while providing flexible repayment options for those who need a little extra time. Creating a strategy built on data and analytics saves money and time, giving your practice the extra cushion to operate on all cylinders.
Trend: Spotty communication plagues the collection process
Depending on the practice, a patient may receive a bill for service 30 days after their healthcare visit. Add the fact that most patients don’t understand what they owe or how the price is broken down, it’s not difficult to see how this causes a hiccup in the collection process.
Best Practice: Offer a centralized platform
Providing a platform where patients have a singular access point to all of their healthcare financial information is one of the most efficient ways to ensure patients pay their share. Healthcare consumers are digital natives — opting to communicate via text or email. Offering these platforms to engage with patients demystifies the communication/information chain, helping patients understand their responsibility and how they can make the best financial decisions in terms of repayment. Instead of avoiding the bill due to lack of clarity, clear communication is a great method for creating a positive foundation with your patients around the tricky nature of billing and repayment.
Trend: Healthcare providers are not offering flexible options
Technology has increasingly advanced the medical field. However, billing and collection processes for many providers desperately need an upgrade. While providing tech-friendly options to patients seems like a ‘nice to have’, it’s really a necessity in patient financial engagement. According to a recent study, 74 percent of millennials failed to pay their medical bills on time in 2016. The same study showed that the respondents intended to meet their financial obligations, but were unable to do so. This indicates that patients aren’t looking to shirk the bill, they need more flexibility.
Best Practice: Add flexible payment options
Every person has their own unique health journey, which is why it’s important to provide payment options that are just as diverse. Flexible payments capture missing revenue to those who are willing to pay but are unable. Patients can set up a payment arrangement they can comfortably afford. Add options like ‘text-to-pay’ and online payments to meet patients halfway. Flexible payment options act as another income generator, essentially tapping into an otherwise missed revenue stream, making it great for your bottom line and for patient relations. Bottom line, it’s never a bad idea to offer various forms of payment plans.
Trend: Providers aren’t leveraging technology to bridge financial gaps
Only a third of healthcare providers use technology in their billing/collections process. Relying on an analog process increases margins of error, creating an unreliable collection process. If patients are receiving their bill, how can providers confidently expect to be paid?
Best Practice: Work with a trusted vendor
Partnering with a trusted third-party vendor to capture unpaid patient balances can be the difference between a profitable quarter versus a quarter hit with losses. Technology doesn’t have to be complicated or cumbersome. In fact, two services working in tandem can give providers a unique insight they would not have spotted without tech. As the healthcare system is in a state of flux, these insights are an integral component to achieving a healthy patient financial engagement program.
Recharging Financial Success with Tech
Now, more than ever, patients are shouldering the brunt of their healthcare expenses, presenting providers with the unique challenge of receiving payment directly from their customers. Boost your strategy by adding a POS Solution that does the heavy lifting. HealthPay24’s platform seamlessly integrates with your EMR to create better patient-provider communication, flexible payment arrangements, and so much more– all while meeting the highest standards of data security. Collecting balances does not have to feel like a tedious or hopeless process. Increase patient financial responsibility by adopting technology into your financial engagement strategy. HealthPay24 empowers providers the ability to give their patients the financial flexibility to meet their payment obligations. In this ecosystem, both providers and patients are presented with the tools necessary to make smart and proactive decisions, leaving all parties happy and hopeful engaging with one another.
Epic Users Welcome
Join HealthPay24, Fairview Health and UW Medicine on May 2nd for an Epic-centered webinar.
- Learn how your peers have solved Epic payment workflow gaps
- Avoid future payment obstacles with emerging consumer technologies
- Be equipped to adopt best practices in patient payment engagement