The Elite Billing and Payment Blog

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

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

A 12 Step Guide to Creating ‘Consumerist’ Patient Financial Communication

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 12:22 PM

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.

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Tags: Statement Design, Patient Friendly Billing

A Smart Plan for Collecting Self-Pay Balances at Every Opportunity

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, May 12, 2015 @ 03:33 PM

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.

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Tags: Patient Friendly Billing, Self-Pay Revenue

Three Key Patient Billing and Payment Trends Worth Watching in 2015

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 12:52 PM

Although not quite as headline-grabbing as 2013 – the 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?

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Tags: Patient Friendly Billing

All Together Now: The Benefits of Consolidated Patient Statements

Posted by Brian Watson on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 @ 12:22 PM

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.

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Tags: Statement Design, Patient Friendly Billing, Self-Pay Patients

The Satisfaction Trap: How Bad Patient Statements Harm Quality Care

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 @ 06:51 PM

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.

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Tags: Statement Processing, Statement Design, Statement Printing and Mailing, Patient Friendly Billing

The Anatomy of a Likeable Patient Statement

Posted by Brian Watson on Fri, Mar 01, 2013 @ 05:25 PM

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.

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Tags: Statement Design, Patient Friendly Billing

14 Self-Pay Patient Billing Tools to Beat the Bad Debt Monster

Posted by Brian Watson on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

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.

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Tags: Statement Processing, Patient Friendly Billing, Self-Pay Patients

4 Ways the AHA's New Billing Guidelines Benefit Statement Processing

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, Sep 04, 2012 @ 12:21 PM

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? 

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Tags: Statement Processing, Patient Friendly Billing

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