The patient billing revenue cycle is the biggest challenge we hear from our healthcare provider merchants and it’s easy to see why. Between chasing co-pays, deductibles and dealing with insurance company bureaucracy getting that final balance collected can be a costly and very time-consuming task for medical businesses who have overhead and bills to pay like any other business. According to a recent survey conducted by Navicure, “63 percent of healthcare business participants recognized that patient payment processes were a “high priority” for the healthcare revenue cycle.” This is to say the need to streamline and improve the efficiency of how patients pay and how bills are sent out needs to drastically improve to close the gap.
According to the study, patient accountability and educating patients about their financial responsibility were issues of major concern with 26 percent of participants expressing difficulty in this area. A quarter of participants also said that slow-paying patients remained another significant challenge. These issues can be linked back to the ‘traditional’ accounts receivable method still deployed at many small to medium-sized healthcare organizations which is that a person (front office staffer) prints, stuffs and mails invoices and then waits for checks to come in. If they have time in between they may also make some collections calls to the highest outstanding balance accounts but otherwise it’s just a waiting game. For patients, when they receive the bill they usually have to write a check and put a stamp on the return envelope to return it – something many households are no longer in the habit of doing since the majority of utility and other common bills are all paid online through bank bill pay or electronic draft. This is where the need for ‘card on file’ can come in handy.
The majority of study participants, a whopping 62 percent, did not offer an electronic credit card on file option to take care of outstanding balances. Of the only 35 percent who did offer this option, 64 percent of them would recommend it to others to speed up collections and make payment easier for patients. Another great option to simplify collections is setting up automated payment plans for larger balances, but only 52 percent of participants did that and only 57 percent sent electronic statements at all. Most healthcare providers are leery of having credit card information on file because they do not know how to properly secure the data – that’s where our secure virtual terminal solution comes into play. Hosted by CardPointe, all our customer’s client data is housed in off-site secured data warehouses, encrypted with P2PE tokenization technology and never accessible by employees or hackers once it’s been added to the customer’s profile. This way merchants can process electronic card on file payments with peace of mind – and the best part- collect payments on time, every time.
According to this survey, healthcare organizations are taking steps to improve pricing transparency and patient responsibility education, in fact, 42 percent stated that they always estimate the patient’s financial responsibility at the time of service. If you are already doing that, why not go the extra step and collect payment via credit card or with a ‘card on file’ in your virtual terminal right there? It will exponentially improve your cash flow and make it easier for patients to track their payments via their credit card statements vs receiving a variety of snail mail invoices from your office. EBPP or electronic bill payment and presentment is the answer and it’s already here. By housing and distributing all your invoices electronically via email, text and voice calling services where a patient can pay via phone, login to their account with you and pay online or simply authorize payment with their ‘card on file’ in your virtual terminal, payment processing woes for healthcare providers will soon be a thing of the past. Watch a BillPAY overview video now to learn more.
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- Collect Now with Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment - February 17, 2017