How Penn State Health Transformed their Patient Financial Experience with HealthPay24
Originally founded as Hershey Medical Center in 1970, Penn State Health (Penn State) is now a multi-hospital health system that includes six hospitals. Serving patients and communities across twenty-nine counties in Pennsylvania, Penn State’s mission is to improve health through patient care, research, education, and community outreach.
In 2016, Penn State was struggling to collect payments from two separate billing systems, the hospital and physician network, causing bottlenecks and inefficiencies in their revenue cycle workflows. On top of that, their legacy systems weren’t optimized for self-pay transactions resulting in limited functionality and requiring manual processes that caused inaccurate financial data, longer A/R days, and limited visibility into self-pay revenue.
All of this was increasing the cost to collect and a diminishing the patient experience. Penn State realized that incorporating customer service & billing into the patient experience was critical to retention and loyalty.
The provider organization executed a strategy to offer an online method for patient payments, enhance their POS payment acceptance capabilities, and integrate a payment solution that enabled the real-time engagement of patients about their financial responsibilities. With up to 500 staff collecting on patient payment responsibilities, a streamlined payment acceptance and reconciliation process was crucial.
A CLASSIC SOLUTION
Penn State Health selected HealthPay24 as their patient payment provider, to take on a complex project consisting of two billing systems, a large physician network, over 500 staff collecting payments, and a centralized Cerner EMR.
“We did not have enough confidence in the billing services provided by the bolt-on vendors from our legacy systems. HealthPay24 had the expertise we were looking for and was the clear partner for us,” says Virginia Robbins, Director of Provider & Patient Access Services, Revenue Cycle.
“Once the go-live timeline was solidified by both sides, HealthPay24’s implementation team exceeded our expectations in terms of responsiveness, flexibility, support, and their ability to produce results. They really made this a productive, meaningful, and impactful project for us,” added Virginia.
After one year Penn State was averaging $600k-700k in online payments per month, significantly reducing the manual burden on staff. “We are extremely excited to have an online payment option that delivers a positive patient experience. Simplified bills and payment options boost patient confidence and we are happily experiencing that with HealthPay24,” Virginia Robbins exclaimed.
HealthPay24 linked the two legacy billing systems with an interface to communicate, collect, and reconcile self-pay transactions across the health system, allowing for the collection of new & previous patient balances in one single transaction and reducing merchant fees and costs per transaction for Penn State.
Additionally, the consolidated payment views implemented by HealthPay24 allowed staff to have productive conversations and engagement with patients at point-of-service (POS) about their payment responsibilities. In the first year, POS collections increased to an average of $650k per month.
“The HealthPay24 platform is very intuitive and user-friendly,” says a Penn State Medical Office Assistant. “It was so easy for our staff to come on-board to the platform. Since then, we have increased our quality of service to patients and significantly reduced our collection times.”
Patient Payment Revenue
Increased Patient Payment Revenue $44.6M in total net patient payments (Mar-Nov 2022)
Retail Collections $126K in retail payments collected (Apr-Nov 2022)
Consumer Satisfaction Rating
Consumer Satisfaction Rating 4.22/5.0 (2022)
Provider Portal Payments
Provider Portal Payments (POS) $15.1M (Mar-Nov 2022)
Patient Portal Revenue
Patient Portal Revenue $29.5M (Mar-Nov 2022)
Payment Rate 78% (of all patient portal interactions)
Healthpay24’s Advanced Solution
In February 2022, after a few years and the addition of a few locations, Penn State Health completed a migration to HealthPay24’s much anticipated SaaS solution. Nine months after going live on the new SaaS platform, Penn State saw an increase of total Net Patient Payments of $44.6M, with $29.5M coming from the patient portal and $15.1M coming at POS from the provider portal.
The new SaaS platform offers providers an omni-channel patient financial experience that includes an intuitive payment portal, text, IVR, and app options. Enhanced affordability options give patient’s financial peace of mind through customized payment plans, financial counseling, and non-recourse loans.
In addition to the new platform, Penn State also adopted one of HealthPay24’s most recent features to help them easily process and reconcile payments for their Aesthetician & Esthetician services. In the eight months after going live with HealthPay24’s Retail Solution, Penn State collected $126K in retail payments, reducing administrative burden.