The Elite Billing and Payment Blog

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

4 Smart Technologies that Accelerate Patient Billing and Payment

Posted by Brian Watson on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 @ 05:23 PM

On July 20, 1969, the Apollo Guidance Computer (ACG) and an IBM-developed computer mainframe were used to help Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin complete the still-awe-inspiring-feat of traveling 356,000 km from the earth to the surface of the moon. 

And nearly 45 years later, the technology that fueled the space race pales in comparison to the kind of cheap tchotchke you might pick up at your next trade show. 

The ACG is no more powerful than most modern pocket calculators.  And the IBM System/360 Model 75 had less storage capacity than a run of the mill USB memory stick.

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Tags: Customer Service, Online Patient Payment, Self-Pay Patients

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

The Platform for Payments: EBPP's Role in Revenue Channel Management

Posted by Brian Watson on Sat, Oct 20, 2012 @ 04:02 PM

When it comes to revenue collection, there’s no such thing as too many payment channels.

Collecting the self-pay revenue that you’re owed – quickly and efficiently – is a fundamental part of your business model.  And more-than-critical to the overall financial health of your bottom line.

To ensure that you’re collecting as much revenue as possible, your pay options should be plentiful.  Fortunately, revenue cycle professionals have been proactive in that area: rolling out simple, effective billing models that give patients plenty of choice in the matter.

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Tags: EBPP, Customer Service, Self-Pay Patients

How Credit Score Data Can Improve Your Statement Processing Program

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 @ 04:02 PM

With the tough, post-recession economy of the past few years still in a holding pattern, patients’ concerns about the cost of healthcare and their ability to meet financial responsibilities seem to be gradually intensifying. 

According to the Thompson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index (a monthly report describing patients’ changing healthcare financial outlook), Americans’ confidence in their ability to access, use, and pay for healthcare service healthcare reached a historic low in April of last year.

That sentiment is echoed by a 2011 Intuit Health survey, which claimed that 70% of patients are somewhat or very concerned about their ability to meet their healthcare financial obligations.

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Tags: Statement Processing, Statement Printing and Mailing, Self-Pay Patients

Helping Patients Adopt EBPP: 6 Web Tools that Drive Patient Usage

Posted by Brian Watson on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 @ 11:37 AM

Online payment has quickly become the de-facto way for consumers to access and pay bills.  Recent studies from Fiserv and IDC Financial Solutions have pegged the number of Internet-connected Americans paying at least one bill online at about 73%.

But, so far, healthcare adoption rates for EBPP have tended to lag quite a bit behind those rosy figures.  For example: according to a 2010 InstaMed survey, only 9% of healthcare providers’ total patient payment dollar amount came from online sources.

Why the disconnect?  Part of it is simply a communication problem.  A 2012 Accenture study reported a full third of patients aren’t even sure if online bill pay is available to them.  That’s a marketing issue as much as anything else.  And fortunately, there are some pretty easy low-cost, high impact fixes for that sort of thing (as we’ve written about in the past).

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Tags: EBPP, Online Patient Payment, Self-Pay Patients

Building EBPP Buzz: 6 Tips to Help Promote Your Estatement Solution

Posted by Brian Watson on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 @ 02:36 PM

So you’ve done your online patient payment and billing homework: adoption rates, effectiveness, must have solution tools.  Selected an EBPP solution and sailed through implementation.  And now, after opening the (virtual) doors, you’re all set for those online patient payments to just start rolling in.

But, if you’re like many offering a newly minted EBPP online patient billing solution, you might have a couple of burning questions.  Like: where exactly are all those new patient registrations?  Or: weren’t they supposed to jump at the chance to pay their bill online?  And most importantly: now what?

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Tags: EBPP, Online Patient Payment, Self-Pay Patients

5 Statement Processing Practices That Power Effective Billing

Posted by Brian Watson on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 @ 04:49 PM

When it comes to statement processing, user-friendly bill design tends to gets a lion’s share of the credit for the performance of successful programs. And, as we’ve written about in this past on this blog, much of that praise is well earned.

Clean, concise, simple statement design helps accelerate balance payment, reduce your customer service burden, and ensure that the consumer goodwill from a treatment or service experience isn’t dashed at the last minute by a confusing, frustrating billing process.

But that overriding focus on statement design and readability frequently comes at the expense of the other crucial element that makes up best-of-breed statement processing programs: statement print and mail management. From file receipt through final delivery, the post-development portion of a statement processing program is just as critical

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Tags: Statement Processing, Statement Printing and Mailing, Self-Pay Patients

5 Online Patient Payment Tools That Speed Self-Pay Collections

Posted by Brian Watson on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 @ 04:26 PM

The number of self-pay patients treated by healthcare providers is rising rapidly.  And it’s no longer an under-the-radar issue.  A 2009 HFMA Healthcare Financial Pulse study reported that 97% of the hospitals it surveyed experienced an increase in self-pay receivables when measured against the previous fiscal year.  And of that 97%, over a third saw self pay growth of over 10%.

Add in the popularity of high-deductable health savings accounts and co-insurance plans, and it’s easy to see that the effectiveness of your self-pay collections program is more important now than ever before.

So how can you tweak your strategy to accelerate revenue collection among self-pay patients?  While there’s no easy fix, one strategy that many providers have found success with is online patient payment technology. 

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Tags: EBPP, Online Patient Payment, Self-Pay Patients

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