On January 27, 2019, the US Postal Service raises the cost of a first class stamp to $0.55 from $0.50, a 10% increase. In addition, bulk paper costs are expected to rise 2.5-6% over the next year and I can promise you that your vendors are not going to absorb those costs. So if you are a revenue cycle management (RCM) company responsible for collecting payments from patients on behalf of hospitals and medical groups it is a stone cold fact that you are going to see your costs rise next year. I wish I had better news for you but unless you change something soon you are going to have some very hard choices to make.
One choice you can make now is to look at shifting to an online communication strategy for patients that allows you to present their statements in an easy to understand manner via a mobile phone, tablet or computer to collect payments without the cost of paper statements and postage. It’s not just what you need it’s what patients want. I was talking to one of our clients last week and they explained that they adopted PatientPay’s solution because that’s how they prefer to pay all bills. “When I talk to CFOs or the head of RCM at our hospitals and medical groups I ask them, ‘How do you pay your bills’”, our client said. “The funny thing is they all sort of laugh when they think about it. It seems so obvious when you step back from it.”
When the USPS admits that today more than 60% of Americans are paying their bills online and their response is to raise rates, what else do you need to start looking at alternate solutions to traditional billing and payments? The question is do you want to go for a ride to the bottom with them? I know I don’t, and assume you don’t either.
So the cost of postage is going up, the cost of paper is going up and consumers want to pay their bills online…how many more reasons do you need?