Ditch the Delinquencies: A Practical Guide to Implementing Automated Patient Payments
The human touch in medical care is paramount, yet certain aspects like billing thrive on efficient automation. Automated patient payments offer a win-win solution, enhancing patient experience, streamlining workflows, and driving positive financial outcomes for your practice.
The Benefits of Automated Patient Payments
While traditional payment collection often requires balancing advantages and disadvantages, automated patient payment systems offer an array of benefits with minimal drawbacks, presenting a compelling opportunity to optimize your organization’s receivables process.
Easier for patients
Unlike some healthcare innovations that encounter patient skepticism, automated payment collection demonstrably improves the patient experience by eliminating tedious tasks and streamlining the financial process.
For overwhelmed patients and caregivers, streamlining administrative tasks like payments is crucial to mitigating stress and facilitating optimal health management. With automated payments, patients can pay their bills online at any time, from anywhere—it’s why 73% of patients prefer to make payments online and 80% are likely to enroll or have already enrolled in eStatements from their providers. This means no more remembering to bring the FSA card to the doctor’s office or sending checks in the mail.
Automated patient payments free up your billing team from routine tasks, enabling them to prioritize personalized support for complex inquiries and address higher-level concerns, ultimately enhancing the patient experience.
Declining patient collections driven by rising out-of-pocket costs underscore the critical need for flexible payment plan options. In such scenarios, automated payment collection systems enhance both patient experience and revenue collection efficiency for your team.
Your team gains centralized access to comprehensive patient billing information, while automated payment options minimize collection risks. Patients are empowered by personalized payment plans tailored to their financial circumstances and convenient scheduling based on their paydays. This data-driven approach fosters enhanced patient satisfaction and optimizes revenue collection.
Billing mistakes happen, but with automation, the risk of human error is greatly reduced. Medical billing requires countless forms, codes, eligibility checks, and other administrative details—which means there’s a lot of room for error when humans are handling this documentation.
Automated patient payment collection reduces the risk of human error, and when there are mistakes, it makes it easier to identify and resolve any discrepancies.
With traditional billing methods, there’s always the risk of payments being lost in the mail or—more likely—forgotten. Indeed, 74% of providers report that it takes two or more statements to collect patient balances in full, while 37% of providers report it taking three or more tries.
With automated patient payment collection, patients can set up automatic payments and never worry about missing a bill again, a benefit for your organization and your patients. On your end, this increases the rate of timely payments, shortens your revenue cycle, and reduces the number of bills sent to collections.
A recent case study where implementing automated billing resulted in a 20% increase in collections, including less-than-$5 transactions—because when it comes to your practice’s revenue, every penny counts. Automated payment collection will significantly increase your collection rates and improve cash flow for your organization, giving you more financial security.
Automation doesn’t replace your billing staff—instead, it allows them to make the most of their time and focus on more critical tasks. With automated payment collection, your team can spend less time dealing with mundane billing work like printing and sending paper bills in the mail and more time providing quality customer service to patients who have higher level concerns.
This also results in higher job satisfaction for your staff, as they’ll have more time to focus on meaningful work and less time dealing with paperwork.
With increased security threats brought by a digital environment, working with a secure vendor is critical. Achieving a HITRUST Certification signifies a healthcare payment collection system’s adherence to the most stringent security standards, exceeding HIPAA compliance requirements, and prioritizing patient data protection.
By working with a HITRUST-Certified platform, you safeguard sensitive information with cutting-edge encryption technology, mitigate compliance risks, and cultivate patients’ trust in your commitment to their privacy.
How to Automate Patient Payment Collections
Automating healthcare payment collection may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually a simple, straightforward process when you partner with an experienced billing and payment solution provider.
The first step is to choose a payment collection system that meets your organization’s needs. Look for one that offers features such as electronic billing, multiple payment methods, customizable payment plans, and secure, automated payment processing that allows you to keep credit cards on file. You’ll also want to make sure it provides a branded, easy-to-use interface for both your staff and your patients—the goal in automation is to make billing easier, not more complicated.
Next, you’ll need to integrate the system with your existing practice management software. This will allow for seamless transfer of patient information and billing data.
Finally, communicate the change to your patients and provide them with any necessary instructions on how to set up automated payments. This can be done through email, text messaging, and posting information in your office. Emphasize the benefits automated payments offer to your patients.
The transition to automated patient payments fosters a significant and measurable impact. Patients benefit from greater transparency, flexibility, and self-service options, enhancing satisfaction and compliance. Meanwhile, healthcare organizations experience streamlined workflows, data-driven insights for optimized revenue cycle management, and heightened data security, creating a win-win scenario for both patients and providers.