Paper billing for medical offices and United States Postal Service have a lot in common. Just like every approach has its heyday, sending physical bills to patients is soon going to be only used by a few stalwarts. The Post Office, Netscape and even Kodak didn’t do anything wrong with their product, it’s just that the market shifted and they did not react. As the healthcare market shifts toward electronic billing, those who don’t react or react too late will get left behind.
It’s not the most efficient, biggest or those who boast the greatest success collecting that will survive. It’s the businesses that react to their customers’ wants and needs, those that shift with the market so that they don’t become obsolete. When email became ubiquitous, the Post Office didn’t change to meet the demands of its customers and that’s why they couldn’t weather the market shift even though they are increasing rates on January 27, 2019 for a product that is loosing traditional clients faster than Kodak film for pictures. Consumers now expect things instantly and don’t want to wait for a truck to get across the country to bring information, they want it fast and they want it now.
Electronic billing gives healthcare consumers what they want, information fast and the ability to transact at their convenience via any device. By sending bills electronically, patients receive them much faster and can conveniently pay them online. In addition, electronic billing takes away the overhead costs of a large backroom operation and it enables immediate payment postings. Billing firms that work with hospitals or medical groups will either have to adapt soon or see their customers move to new, more innovative Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) companies.
With the rapid uptake in electronic billing, firms who maintain the status quo of traditional paper billing are overlooking a huge opportunity to stay relevant to their clients. Customers want their bills electronically and if they’re not getting it from you, they’ll move to someone who will provide it for them. And, as they say…the customer is always right.