Why Specialists need a Specialized Patient Payment Solution

In today's healthcare world, specialists are integral to many patients care. However, when it comes to patient billing, they are often one or two steps removed--and that can have real revenue impacts.

Radiologists and Laboratories, for example, often have an arms-length relationship with patients. That means that the patient is usually referred to them, but rarely develops a relationship with that radiology group or lab. When a bill arrives, patients are less likely to recognize the bill/provider and are less likely to pay.

To further complicate billing, often specialists are sent basic demographic data on patients during a referral, and not much more. Without thinking to capture information that most patients are happy to provide--such as email address--specialists may think they are unable to tap into the most cost-effective and timely billing method: digital.

So what's a specialist to do?

PatientPay has found that 75% of the telephone numbers provided by patients are actually mobile numbers. This allows specialty groups to use text as a digital touch point. And getting a mobile number is about more than just being able to send text statements. You also need to ensure all communications, and the ability to view and pay their bill, are optimized for a mobile phone. PatientPay has found that 33% of specialty group payments are made on a mobile device. Being Apple/Android device-agnostic is also important (though we have found the majority of patients are paying from an iPhone).

Lastly, make sure your bill is as simple and easy-to-understand as possible. Patients who understand their bill are more likely to pay--and pay quickly. Make sure that regardless of how you send the statement, that you offer the patient multiple ways to pay. People are bill payment omnivores now: they are comfortable using a variety of payment mechanism to pay various bills--at all hours of the day and night. 

If you'd like more information about how PatientPay can help increase your collections, while also reducing billing-related costs, let us know

Flexible Patient Payment Plans:
Driven by Ability to Pay

Propensity to Pay may not be the first thing to roll off your lips when you think about creating healthcare patient payment plans. But it should be.

Propensity to pay—or ability to pay—is the use of behavioral analytics, combined with your medical group’s internal payment rules, to create smart payment plans that patients are more likely to comply with.

Some keys to consider when implementing Ability to Pay solutions:

  • Start early.
    Don’t wait for the clinical encounter to score a patient’s account. By knowing the account score prior to their visit, you can collect an appropriate amount at the time of service.
     
  • Have a plan for how to handle Ability to Pay tiers.
    One you have identified account score tiers—decide how you want to handle those with clear rules. This will allow you to align staffing resources and procedures to each level—with the proper workflows to support each.
     
  • Access historical payment data.
    Ensure your Ability to Pay solution can access historical claims data. This will improve the quality of the score dramatically.
     
  • Know your baseline metrics.
    In order to determine the effectiveness of your Ability to Pay solution, make sure you know your baseline self-pay KPIs. Everything from DSO (or average days to collect), write-offs for bad debt and charity, current POS collections, etc.

Implementing a Propensity to Pay/Ability to Pay solution can be an effective method of improving your patient collections when done thoughtfully, and as part of a larger patient-friendly payment program. To learn more about Propensity to Pay, check out PatientPay's RCM solutions.

Prompt patients to use HSA and FSA funds

With the continued rise in high deductible health plans, it’s no surprise that more than 21.8 million Americans were covered by Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in 2017. Americans opting-in to HSA use has been growing dramatically since their introduction in 2004. And FSAs also remain popular for those without a high deductible plan.

For medical groups—this tax-exempt money set aside every month by employees and employers can have real (and positive) implications on collections. Sometimes you just have to ask.

Your billing staff should routinely ask patients if they have a health savings account (or medical savings account). Reminding patients about those already-dedicated healthcare dollars—and the easy-to-use credit card that comes with them—can immediately boost point-of-care payments.

And what about payment plans? Those bills can be paid with HSS/FSA funds too—and once you have collected the card-on-file, there is no intervention from staff or patient needed!

Make sure your office staff routinely asks patients if they have these tax-free accounts, as a simple step to helping increase your collections.

PatientPay and The Echo Group Bring Paperless Billing and Electronic Payments to Behavioral Health Clients

PatientPay announces that we have partnered with The Echo Group to bring paperless billing and electronic payment capabilities to the behavioral health market. The Echo Group has developed a suite of software applications used by hundreds of behavioral health organizations nationwide.

Patients are taking on a greater portion of healthcare bills--from high deductible plans to Medicaid. Managing accounts receivable while also improving the patient billing experience is critical according to Matt Cabbiano, CEO of The Echo Group.

The integrated PatientPay solution will help clinic employees automation patient billings once they have collected a patient's email address or mobile number. PatientPay then handles all aspects of the patient's balance--including billing, capturing payments and providing a standard ERA (electronic remittance advice) back to the practice for automated posting and reconciling.

Unlike any other healthcare payment solution, PatientPay is configured as a payer in the practice's PM system. This allows a seamless mapping of billing and procedure codes to primary insurance payments. The result is a clean, easy-to-understand statement--delivered electronically to the patient. Patients can then pay in a variety of secure methods with no fees or confusing interfaces.

The result is that practices using PatientPay typically cut time-to-payment in half--improving cash flow and reducing accounts receivable.

To learn more about how PatientPay can help your organization, check out our Revenue Cycle Management page. To read the full press release with The Echo Group, go to our News section.

Earth Day 2018: When Paperless Billing also Helps the Earth

It's no surprise that with the increasing frequency of electronic communications--the demand for paper is declining. One place that has been slow to transition to electronic delivery is billing. Specifically healthcare billing.

At PatientPay we love that our work in reducing paper billing statements is consumer friendly and earth friendly.  Thats why today, Earth Day, we announce our recent donation to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for restoration of the longleaf pine forests in the North Carolina Sandhills.

A single healthcare group that sends out 10,000 patient statements a month can save the equivalent of 32 acres of trees--each month--by moving to PatientPay paperless statements. That's the area equivalent to 24 football fields.

The Nature Conservancy has planted more than 1,000,000 longleaf seedings in the Sandhills.

And as we all embrace easy-to-implement solutions like paperless billing, those seedlings can live a long life without the fear of becoming a ream of paper.