By Jimmy Miner, Director of Sales Operations
As 2013 marches on, the need to collect from patients is more important than ever. With ongoing regulation changes and the confusion that always seems to follow, you must find a way to optimize your revenue cycle in order to keep your business healthy. You need to be able to easily communicate with your patients and for them to be able to pay you simply and securely.
Here are 8 key factors you should consider when evaluating your next patient billing platform:
IS YOUR SOLUTION…
1. EFFECTIVE? – Effectiveness is something that can be measured in multiple ways: Are you collecting more money than before? Are your payments delivered accurately and securely to your bank account each day with the data to support the movement? Are you seeing reduced time requirement for payment handling? All three components are equally important to run your business.
2. SIMPLE? – Simplicity should be the goal for both you and your patients. Each party should have clear understanding regarding How, When, Where, and Why to take action. Your solution should communicate this clearly.
3. EFFICIENT? – Payment information should be easily accessible and efficiently managed so that you can give your patients a high level of customer service with a low level of effort. The solution should also be easy to implement and take very little time to manage.
4. CONSUMER FOCUSED? – We live in a consumer driven economy, EXCEPT in the one industry that is woefully behind…Healthcare! Your patients need to be treated and communicated with in the way that they are used to. Like every other bill they pay, they should receive your statements once a month, a cycle they are conditioned to responding to. Multiple invoices often confuse your patients.
5. PATIENT FRIENDLY? – Your communication to your patient, whether by statement or ebill should be clear, concise, and in “layman’s” terms. A patient should be able to quickly decipher what is owed, where to pay, and when it is due.
6. TRANSPARENT? – For you, the provider, the solution should contain an aggregated view of all activities and payments that have been processed. Exceptions should be automated and payments should be consolidated for easy reconciliation.
7. FLEXIBLE? – Giving your patients options is key to a better experience, faster payments, and better results for you. A frustrated patient does not pay and likely will continue to be a burden on your staff for weeks, months, and even years to come.
8. DYNAMIC? – The delivery of information should be based on patient preference and behavior, just like it is in the consumer world. Your patient payment platform should give you the ability to adapt to consumer preference to drive better results. Are you able to send paper statements and eBills? Can your patients pay you 24/7 in the way they choose? Can they manage their entire account online? Think of your experience with the likes of Amazon.com or Netflix.com. These are great examples of how information can be tailored based on your past activity to drive future business.
If you can say yes to all of these things, then you are choosing a platform that will bring significant positive change to your business.
We believe that these are the crucial components of a good patient payment solution but, the ultimate goal should be to delight your patients with exceptional service by communicating clearly with them. If you do this, you will be successful in increasing your patient payments, decreasing your cost to collect, automating your back office, and improving patient satisfaction long after the episode of care.