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Brian Watson

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4 Big Patient Financial Communication Trends to Watch

Posted by Brian Watson on Thu, Jun 13, 2019 @ 12:14 PM

No one can know ahead of time precisely how the future will shake out. 

Few years reinforced the unpredictable nature of the world we live in – and our inability to accurately predict just what will happen next – than 2018

But while trend-watching may be inexact science (to say the least), it’s still a practice worth participating in – especially for industries where change comes fast and frequently, like healthcare. 

As the nation’s health delivery system continues to evolve, keeping up with the latest trends is critical for financial leaders hoping to stay current with emerging best-practices and technology.

From ACA to value-based care, cost-sharing to ICD-10, the patient financial landscape is shifting – a lot. 

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Tags: Patient Friendly Billing

What Are Chatbots? And How Will They Change Billing and Payment?

Posted by Brian Watson on Thu, Jun 13, 2019 @ 11:24 AM

That super-friendly customer service rep who just live-chatted you through a support request?  Don’t freak out, but there’s a solid chance that the person on the other end of that discussion might not have been a real, live someone after all.

With chatbot technology changing the way that companies can interact with customers – particularly in a service context – businesses of all sizes and specializations are jumping on board the bot bandwagon. 

Leading brands like Apple, Starbucks, Mastercard, and Spotify are now using chatbots to help consumers do everything from order food, to schedule rides, to receive personalized recommendations for nearly anything – all without human intervention. 

And the demand for bots – from both business and consumers – is growing. 

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Tags: Customer Service, Mobile Payment

Easy Healthcare Channel Partnerships that Work: Why Every Revenue Cycle Company Needs Statement Print and Mail

Posted by Brian Watson on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 @ 06:26 PM

In today’s healthcare marketplace, every dollar matters  for both providers and channel partners alike.

Rising costs and shrinking reimbursements have many hospitals and practices leaving no stone left unturned in a search for low-cost, high-efficacy revenue cycle tools that can help them collect more cash without using additional resources.

The average deductible hasskyrocketed since 2010, spurred by a rise in high deductible health plans and more employee cost sharing.  Over the last five years alone, U.S. deductibles have increased by 67%, far outpacing gains in single premiums (24%), workers’ wages (10%), and general inflation (9%) over that same period.

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Tags: Healthcare Channel Partner Billing

3 Key Financial Benefits of Online Billing and Payment for B2B Billers

Posted by Brian Watson on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 @ 03:31 PM

“Cash is king” might be an old, shopworn adage, but it’s as relevant today as it’s ever been.

Even with interest rates hovering near zero, preserving liquidity and consistent cash flow are still major anxieties for many businesses – more than 60% of small business owners say cash flow is an ongoing monthly concern, for example. 

Unfortunately, that apprehension tends to be well-founded: 82% of business failure is the result of poor cash flow management, according to recent research from U.S. Bank.

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Rethinking Patient Financial Communication to Better Fit Millennials

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, May 03, 2016 @ 12:35 PM

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.

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Tags: Mobile Payment, Patient Friendly Billing, Online Billing and Payment

Three Ways to Ensure Your Patient Statements Are 501(r)-Compliant

Posted by Brian Watson on Fri, Mar 04, 2016 @ 10:01 AM

To say the healthcare regulatory environment is constantly changing would be a major understatement.

Providers face a near-unrelenting stream of complex rules for areas like coding, patient privacy, reimbursement, and quality.  As soon as one deadline passes, it seems like implementation for another new regulatory project is already closing fast.

And 2016 is shaping up to provide more of the same regulatory story. The HHS currently has 153 new regulations in development – ranging from the fairly mundane to big, costly, and transformational. 

In other words, don’t expect any shortage of major regulatory stories in 2016.  But of all the deadlines on the horizon, IRS Rule 501(r) for tax-exempt hospitals might have the most far-reaching consequences for your organization.

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Tags: Statement Design, Compliance

Improve Patient Statement Effectiveness with These Eight Simple Metrics

Posted by Brian Watson on Mon, Jan 25, 2016 @ 06:10 PM

Without margin, there is no mission. 

I’m not a betting man, but I’d wager this isn’t the first time you’ve come across that particular expression.

Shopworn or not, it’s stuck around this long because it neatly describes one of the key challenges of healthcare financial management.  The mission of healthcare is to deliver high-quality care to patients in need.  But that principle can only be met if the bottom line is healthy enough to keep the doors open and lights on. 

No margin, no mission.

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Tags: Statement Design

How Intelligent Programming Reduces Statement Print & Mail Costs

Posted by Brian Watson on Wed, Dec 09, 2015 @ 05:37 PM

Healthcare providers face significant financial challenges in a post-reform marketplace.

Although tight margins are nothing new for the industry – the aggregate operating margin for hospitals between 2003 and 2013 was just 4.09% – the recent rise in patient out-of-pocket costs is further pressuring profitability.

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Tags: Statement Design

Scarcity, Bandwith, and Smarter Patient Financial Communication

Posted by Brian Watson on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 @ 11:32 AM

Providers spend ample time and energy ensuring that the billing process is as fast and painless as possible for self-pay patients. 

From emerging billing tools to more transparent, consumer-friendly billing practices, building a better self-pay system is generally top-of-mind with revenue cycle leadership – especially as out-of-pocket costs continue to grow.

And yet 57% of consumers in a recent survey reported allowing a medical bill to go to collections.  Forty-five percent wait more than a month to pay.  And medical bills make up a majority of the debts referred to third-party collection agencies.

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Tags: Statement Design, Self-Pay Revenue

How to Optimize Your Billing Statements For Mobile In 3 Simple Steps

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, Oct 27, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

Mobile phones have quickly become an indispensible communication tool for most Americans.

According to the Pew Internet Project, a near-universal 90% of U.S. adults now own cell phones – and almost two-thirds have already upgraded to a smartphone.  Not to mention smartphones are among the fastest-selling products in history – outselling PCs at a rate of four-to-one.

But phone ownership alone doesn’t adequately describe just how ingrained mobile phones have become in the lives of the average American. 

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Tags: Statement Design, Mobile Payment, QR Codes

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