No one can know ahead of time precisely how the future will shake out.Read More
The Elite Print and Mail Blog
Tags: Patient Friendly Billing
They’re diverse, influential, and demanding. They spend more time with media (9.5 hours a day on average) than most Americans sleep. Growing up with Apple, Amazon, and Google, they have high expectations about user experience – and aren’t shy about voicing their displeasure when a business’ approach falls short.
And they’re ready to change the way you practice healthcare.Read More
With patients asked to shoulder a larger portion of healthcare costs, providers are looking for ways to improve how they communicate with consumers about financial responsibilities
Many hospitals and health organizations have already spent a considerable time and resources in the pursuit of smarter statement design, only to have patients still struggle to consistently understand the financial side of their care.
While statement improvement is a good start – one with clear financial benefits – more needs to be done to improve how patients anticipate and manage costs.Read More
Like it or not, your patients are set to become a permanent fixture in revenue collection – if they aren’t already.
With the continued rise in patient consumerism, patients simply have a much more vested interest in care delivery these days. Whereas the typical patient with insurance has long been largely shielded from the true costs of treatment, thanks to more cost sharing between employers and workers and the launch of ACA insurance exchanges, recent inflation is increasingly borne by consumers.Read More
Although not quite as headline-grabbing as 2013 – the Healthcare.gov launch and rollout of the Affordable Care Act tends to put last year in rarified air, after all – 2014 provided no shortage of major stories and trends that will shape the healthcare marketplace for years to come.
Providers were inundated by plenty of big-issue items in 2014: yet another delay in ICD-10, the threat of massive data leaks and record-setting HIPAA fines, finalization of CMS meaningful use attestation, and the continued increase in patient adoption of high-deductible insurance plans and HSAs.
What are the key trends worth watching from a patient financial communication perspective in 2015?Read More
Tags: Patient Friendly Billing
Want your patient statements to collect more self-pay revenue – faster and without increasing delivery costs?
That’s a rhetorical question. If you’re responsible for patient financial operations at your hospital or practice, of course you want statements that drive patient response without raising collection costs.
Effective patient statements accelerate revenue collection, reduce the risk of patient non-payment, and enable providers to keep a larger portion of the money they’ve earned.
In a healthcare financial environment that's increasingly complex and constantly changing, patient statements are a refreshingly unambiguous throwback.
Sure, some of the delivery channels might be new. And more bills are incorporating value-added elements like social media links, marketing messages, or flowery brand-speak.
But the mission has remained unchanged for decades and decades. Patient statements inform and collect – bringing in self-pay revenue that providers depend on to pay employees and vendors, reinvest in tools and technology, and otherwise keep the lights on.
Patient, statement and likeable aren’t three words that you’ll find side-by-side in a sentence all that often.
The reason for that is simple: patients are often really frustrated by medical billing. According to the 2011 Connance Consumer Impact Study, only 21% of patients are fully satisfied with their hospital statements.
And that affects their overall opinion of your organization and its doctors, too. The same study reported only 39% of patients that were dissatisfied with their billing would recommend a clinician, compared to 91% of patients that were fully satisfied.
If you’re like most healthcare financial professionals, bad debt is probably one of your primary concerns these days.
And for good reason. More and more patients are struggling with higher out-of-pocket costs and inadequate insurance, as employee-provided coverage shrinks due to high unemployment and benefit cut-backs.
For example: the U.S. Census Bureau reports 48.6 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2011. And, as research from the Commonwealth Fund claims, an additional 25 million Americans wouldn’t have enough coverage to prevent financial hardship if they ran into high medical costs – like an ER visit or extended hospital stay.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) has been a leading, positive force for change in the healthcare industry since the early 1900s.
And over the past decade, it’s been equally instrumental (along with groups like the HFMA) in spearheading the patient friendly billing revolution: co-sponsoring the landmark Patient Friendly Billing Project in 2001 and introducing a series of guidelines and principals on billing and collections in 2003 that were voluntary implemented by its hospital members.
Earlier this summer, the AHA revisited those billing and collections guidelines for the first time. Largely a reflection of healthcare changes surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or ACA), the new practices are designed to emphasize the shared role that care providers, patients, and health partners play in ensuring that billing is timely and transparent.
The full guidelines are an important read, and can be found online here. But this is primarily a statement processing blog. So what are the key takeaways from a patient statement and payment perspective?