How would your Health System handle an increase in patient payment volume? Would you have to hire more revenue cycle staff? Or, would you consider implementing new patient payment software? Your answer is likely dependent on several factors. This blog will outline a few considerations to think about. These considerations can help you determine whether it’s time to deploy new patient payment software and if so, they will help you prove the value such an investment would bring to your Health System.
How often are payments initiated by patients?
With the right consumer-friendly payment tools, Health Systems can encourage more patients to take a self-service approach. Based on our work with enterprise Health Systems, we believe 78 to 80 percent of patient payments should be self-service. This is possible with a digital-first, mobile-responsive payment platform. Do not restrict patient payments to your Health System’s business hours. Patients should be able to go online, using their preferred device, and make a payment at their convenience.
This may seem straightforward, especially for something like a standard, one-time credit card payment. However, every patient has their own distinct financial needs. Some patients may want to schedule a payment for after they receive their next paycheck. Make sure your patient payment software supports this and is capable of securely storing card information for future, scheduled payments. Likewise, allow patients to enroll in flexible payment plans online. The Patientco Data Team has discovered that as balances approach $500, pay-in-full rates drop. Therefore, offering tailored payment plan options, which patients can enroll in without assistance from staff, is in the best interest of both the Health System and the patient.
If there are payment options for patients that currently require staff assistance, find out why. Patient payment software that leverages technology like automation and configurable business rules can empower Health Systems to take a self-service approach instead.
How much time does your staff spend on the phone taking patient payments?
Oftentimes, patients want to call to complete a payment. There are several reasons for this – perhaps they don’t want to remember an online bill pay login or they just have their statement with the phone number on it and are ready to pay. Without an IVR system, your staff must manually enter and process those patient payments. Furthermore, they can only do so during business hours. Patient payment software that includes an IVR system can turn these calls into self-service payments. Last year, Patientco’s IVR system handled 860,790 minutes on behalf of our Health System clients. That is the equivalent of 14,346 hours, which otherwise, would have taken time from Health System staff.
There are other metrics that can be used to determine whether it is time for new patient payment software, including how many patients engage with the first bill they receive and patient-reported satisfaction with the overall financial experience. Still, the considerations mentioned in this blog are a good place to start. Answering these questions will help you prove that the right patient payment software will add value to your Health System. To learn more about scaling for increased payment volume and generating patient revenue in a sustainable, profitable way, read our next white paper, “Is it Time for a New Patient Payment Solution?”