According to a recent study from InstaMed, out-of-pocket costs for patients have increased by 230 percent. This acceleration has been observed for the past 10 years. Collecting payments from patients is a sturdy job. Copayments from patients alone contribute up to 20% of the provider’s total revenue. But most of the providers can only collect 60% of this total amount. Providers need to focus more on the financial responsibilities of patients.
This blog highlights the significance of improving patient collections. It also provides some effective strategies to boost these collections.
What is Patient Collection in healthcare?
Patient collection is also known as patient financial responsibility or patient payment collection. It is the collection of revenue from patients for healthcare services rendered. Patients’ responsibilities, such as copayments, deductibles, and co-insurance, are identified and collected.
The process involves the verification of the patient’s insurance coverage and the amount he has to pay on his end. Clear communication between the two entities is essential to fulfilling financial obligations.
Also Read: How to Verify Patient Insurance
Significance of Improving Patient Collections
Improving patient collection is of great significance for several reasons. All these contribute to the financial health of the healthcare facility. Some are listed below:
Improved patient collection has a direct impact on financial stability. Accurate collection means that the organization has timely payments to run internal operations. They can invest in advanced machines and provide high-quality patient care.
Reduces Bad Debt
Bad debt is the payment that the patient has failed to make. By enhancing the collection process, the margin of bad debt is significantly reduced. Proactive collection strategies can help identify the issue in the first place. This allows the provider to address all the payment concerns.
Efficient Cash Flow Management
Improved patient collection is important for efficient cash flow. A steady cash flow helps the facility manage all its day-to-day expenses. Payments are timely paid to the medical staff as well as the suppliers.
Revenue Cycle Optimization
The revenue cycle involves several stages. It starts with patient registration and ends with reimbursement paid to the provider. An improved patient collection system ensures that each stage is managed effectively. All payments are received on time.
Strategies to Accelerate Patient Collections
Collect Payments at the Point Of Service (POS)
POS is the collection of payment at a time when services are provided to the patient. It is considered the best time to clear patient balance. The registration staff should go beyond the basic duty of just entering the patient’s data. They must communicate with the patients about their financial responsibilities.
This upfront collection helps the provider maintain all the operations without chasing unpaid bills and sending out statements.
Electronic Billing and an Online Patient Portal
Make the billing process simple and stress-free for the patients. Implement an electronic billing statement. and online patient portals that allow patients to pay bills online. Promote online payment options through the patient portal.
The online collection process is faster. There is no need for patients to get tangled with paperwork and waste time and resources.
Pre-verification of Insurance Coverage
Pre-verification of patients’ insurance information has a key role in medical billing. It validates the patient’s insurance coverage before providing healthcare services.
Pre-verification helps the healthcare provider estimate the patient’s potential out-of-pocket costs. It allows the two entities to communicate transparently about their financial responsibilities.
Implementation of Clear Pricing
Implement clear and transparent pricing. One way is to publish a list of the costs of common procedures and services.
Offer patients an estimate of the cost of their treatment at the front desk. This allows them to plan and make informed decisions regarding their healthcare expenses.
Ensure that billing statements are easy to understand. It should provide detailed information about the services rendered and associated costs.
Allow Flexible Payment Options
Diversify payment options for patients. Accept major debit and credit cards to provide convenience to patients. Set up automatic payments or send reminders to ensure timely payments.
Encourage patients to pay in full without going for installations. The provider can do this by offering discounts or incentives.
Outsource your Patient Collections to Medheave
Improved patient collection in the healthcare industry is of paramount importance. Choose Medheave as a reliable medical billing company. We can enhance your patient collections through a transparent and efficient payment process. The company offers customized solutions that focus on streamlining your revenue cycle. Partnering with Medheave allows you to enjoy several benefits. For example, a higher clean claim rate, denial management, certified medical coding, insurance verification, and credentialing. This improves the cash flow and, hence, helps you improve your patient collection.