As healthcare continues to change and evolve, more of the financial payment processes are shifting. The healthcare payment landscape for everyone, not just the patients, but the providers can stay simple. The entire industry, from medical facilities to EMS agencies, hospitals and practitioners needs to prepare now and adapt to stay ahead of a collection scenario.
When we think of being prepared – we have to consider payment processing from many different perspectives – but of course, the most pressing for any provider is the issue of payment. We suggest making it a discussion, a pro-active one and one that can be positive.
We know – and all of us have probably experienced this first hand – that patients are facing greater out-of-pocket expenses in both premiums and coinsurance. Many people have also elected health care coverage that puts more burden on them as a patient in order to reduce premiums or by choosing higher deductibles and co-pays. These increased payments which are due at time of service, or even when billed later can be overwhelming.
We can help you to reduce stress in the overall patient-provider experience by being flexible from the beginning. Being helpful, not just as a provider of medical services, but understanding their situation and making it simple and easy allows the payment conversation to take place.
We recommend starting by offering patients the ability to pay the way they prefer. Either one lump sum or on a recurring basis, but in either case, using their credit card or debit card of choice. This allows you as a provider to manage payables and receivables without waiting for the bill to be sent, let alone phone calls to request payment. Setting up a process to make up-front plans and then following up with simple reminder letters, emails or even a text that a payment is being processed “as scheduled” rather than the eventual and worst-case scenario, involvement of a collection agency.
The time, money and aggregation saved on both sides is well worth it. Many of our clients have shared their thanks for helping them be proactive rather than reactive in their company’s planning. We have introduced new software, technology and platforms that make their evolving healthcare payment landscape one that is framing the future, rather than one that relies on the past. From payment plan systems to online options, including e-payments and secure patient payment portals, we have solutions that can help you get ahead of the curve. We can help your practice collect your fees without sacrificing revenues, maintaining HIPAA regulations and remaining secure so that you can continue to be a best in class medical and healthcare provider for your patients and clients .
~ Mary Ann