The healthcare industry is witnessing the trend of increasing patient payments for medical services. The insured’s adoption of high-deductible health plans leads to lesser payments by payors and more out-of-pocket expenses by patients. Further, unexpected medical emergencies mean financial stress on the patient’s family and the physician, too, whereby the practice has to find ways to collect dues from the patient.
It is now essential for practices to frame clear-cut policies for collecting payments from patients and adopt patient-friendly ways to communicate and receive payments. Investing in technology will go a long way in shoring up your revenues and aiding in financial resilience for the practice.
A robust online presence is now vital for a practice to thrive. A practice’s patient portal is the foremost tool for patient engagement. It should allow for easy two-way communication between provider and patient that includes messaging and patient education. It is well-recognized that technology improves workflows within the practice and enhances the quality of patient care. Billing aspects can be integrated into the patient portal, which can now be utilized to communicate payment policies to patients and exhibit the breakdown of their billing costs. Patients can ask questions about their bills and make payments as well. Effortless patient access to billing information leads to improved patient collections.
A significant part of patient education is helping patients know about the cost of medical services in advance. Patients can then prepare to bear their financial responsibility. Price transparency tools are helping providers and hospitals advise patients of the cost of their care in advance. With the price transparency tool, educating patients about the benefits of their care plan and its limitations will bring patients closer to you and will not look elsewhere when they need a medical visit.
Insurance Eligibility Verification
Thorough insurance eligibility verification is key to ensuring that patient payments are not inflated unnecessarily. Providers can now automatically check if a patient’s insurance covers the medical services to be rendered. This verification not only ensures the submission of clean claims to payors, resulting in quicker reimbursement, but it is also an opportunity to educate patients about their insurance plans. If the service is not covered by insurance, then a discussion can be had by the front office with the patient regarding payment options. With technology aiding insurance verification, denials due to “uncovered services” can be avoided altogether.
The days of printing patient statements, posting them and receiving checks are long gone. Patients today expect the same convenience they are used to as consumers. Patient collections can be hugely improved by offering multiple payment options that are easy to use. Bill payment can include online options, payments during the visit and the traditional modes.
New trends are cropping up to enable bill payments that suit the patient, such as Buy Now Pay Later plans which are customized to reduce the financial stress on the patient. Another trend is compassionate billing which grants customers more flexible payment plan terms. Patients can be educated on these options so that everyone in the system benefits.
Bristol Healthcare can help with front-office work
Would you prefer to have a service provider taking care of your front office and back office work? With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Bristol Healthcare Services, a top medical billing and coding company, is here to serve you. Our team of billing professionals is certified and trained in every aspect of healthcare revenue cycle management. We have assisted thousands of providers in taking their practice to the next level. Allow us to partner with you and help increase your revenues.
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