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4 Strategies to Simplify Patient Payments

4 Strategies to Simplify Patient Payments

With healthcare costs on the rise and an increasing segment of uninsured consumers, the patient payment landscape is changing rapidly. How can medical offices evolve and optimize collections while keeping patient satisfaction high? Thankfully advancing technologies are making it easy to simplify collection processes to increase revenue.

1) Communicate responsibility

How many times have you purchased a good or service without knowing the cost beforehand? Probably not many. Healthcare should not be any different. By providing cost expectations, care providers can give patients the opportunity to not only understand their fiscal responsibility but to also take a proactive, involved approach. Communication allows patients to determine if the value of the service they are receiving is worth the cost. When finances and choices are transparent, patient satisfaction rises.

2) Collect upfront

It’s said that medical providers collect only 25 percent, on average, of available co-pays and deductibles at the time of service. If the patient departs after the initial visit without making a payment, the likelihood of receiving the co-pay drops significantly. Consumers are used to paying for a product at service at the time of use, so why should medical care be different? Capitalize on patients that are willing to pay at the time of service by collecting upfront. Processing payment during the appointment is a step toward helping the patient to be invested in their care, which increases the chance of gaining future payments.

3) Empower patients

We know that patients are taking a more active role in their care and like to be in control of costs. Knowledge is power, and giving patients the information and tools needed is critical to empowering patients to pay. An effective strategy engages the patient early to learn their payment and communication preferences, then proving the proper options.

4) Build awareness

When adding payment options or considering changes to your payment workflow, increasing awareness is key. Be sure to engage your staff and provide the most accurate information on your website and within advertising tools (such as posters in the waiting room). If time and budget allow, conduct a survey to gain patient feedback. A small sampling of users will give insight into the likelihood that patients will adopt new tools and practices. It’s critical to explain the value in an informative, yet simple to understand the way that will resonate with your audience.

Thinking your practice may not have the staff or means to optimize payment processes? Consider tools from TriZetto Provider Solutions that can enable patients to conveniently pay by utilizing a variety of methods, including easy-to-understand statements. Learn how our partnership can help you streamline your workflow, improve efficiencies, and get paid faster.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

Innovative Enhancements Can Maximize Revenue

Innovative Enhancements Can Maximize Revenue

We see it all the time, a patient visits their doctor’s office to seek treatment and then receives a bill in the mail for their portion of the medical expenses.  When a patient receives the bill, they are often alarmed at the amount that is due and may not have the funding to pay the balance in full.  In a recent study conducted by UCLA, it is estimated that there is $140 billion in medical debt that has been reported on credit reports (VeryWellHealth, 2021).  In fact, this research study found that one in every five consumers was already in collections prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As cases of COVID-19 increased in 2020, many consumers feared visiting their doctor’s office that they avoided their routine office visits, and/or lost their employment further impacting a patient’s ability to pay for any medical expenses.  As providers continued to keep their offices open, many providers witnessed a decrease in patient volume while also seeing a reduction in revenue.  According to a recent article published in Medical Economics (2021), 55% of practices were impacted by a decrease in revenue while 60% were impacted by a decrease in overall patient volume.  Combined with the number of patients that were already in medical debt and/or collections, many practices faced a financial crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to become more stable in early 2021, many patients felt comfortable returning to visit their doctor and/or were able to secure employment, providing patients with employer-sponsored insurance coverage. With the current rise of COVID-19 cases increasing again, practices are left with the ongoing challenges of attempting to maximize revenue collection with the risk of history repeating itself and the patient’s inability to pay their medical bills or avoiding their office visits.

Contrary to belief, consumers actually want to pay their medical bills and are seeking more payment options.  According to the 2020 Trends in Healthcare Annual Report, providers and consumers must adapt to a new payment experience in order to enhance how they interact with one another. In addition, more than half of consumers would consider changing their provider for a better payment experience.  One may ask, what constitutes a better payment experience?  Consumers are showing a higher demand for contactless payments and the ability to work with their providers to create a payment plan or auto-payment options. Unfortunately, many providers have not adapted to their consumer’s needs and continue to operate with traditional methods creating dissatisfaction amongst their consumers

How can providers change their operations to facilitate a more consumer-friendly experience for their patients? Front-office staff play a pivotal role when interacting with patients and should be collecting up-to-date contact information to ensure patients are communicated with effectively, have the most recent insurance data to avoid any processing delays, and should collect a patient’s consent ahead of time for new features such as eBills, texting, and payment preferences.  EZ Claim customers can streamline their revenue collection opportunities by partnering with BillFlash for innovative billing opportunities and various payment collection features that consumers highly desire.  While nobody can predict if this recent wave of COVID-19 cases will lead to another quarantine phase or not, it is important for providers and consumers to enhance how they interact with one another to create solutions for healthcare needs.


For more information about automated patient statements and patient payment options, contact EZClaimNexTrust BillFlashGetPaid@BillFlash.com, or call BillFlash at 435.940.9123 (Option 3). For more details about EZClaim’s medical billing software, visit their websitee-mail their support team, or call them at 877.650.0904.


Resources

Hui, K. (2021).  Americans owe $140 billion in medical debt. Here’s how to avoid it.  Very Well Health. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/medical-debt-medicaid-study-5194846

InstaMed (2021).  The Trends in Healthcare Payments (11th Annual Report) 2020.  Retrieved from https://www.instamed.com/white-papers/trends-in-healthcare-payments-annual-report/

Luz, M. (2021).  How an effective revenue cycle management strategy can help reduce burnout.  Medical Economics.  Retrieved from https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/how-an-effective-revenue-cycle-management-strategy-can-help-reduce-burnout

 

3 Keys to Being a Medical Billing Expert

3 Keys to Being a Medical Billing Expert

As a medical billing software company, EZClaim has worked and built relationships with thousands of billing experts across the country. With the aim of helping establish a standard of best practices, we have come up with 3 keys to being a medical billing expert. If you own a medical billing company or are studying to be a medical biller, then you will not want to miss these.

1. Strong Communication Skills

Medical billers must interact with a variety of individuals in their roles.

One of the most important people a medical biller must learn to communicate with is the patient. It is a biller’s job to be courteous, transparent, and offer up solutions to problems. Clearly communicating to patients their financial responsibilities will allow for the medical biller to complete the claim. It is also crucial for a medical biller to communicate well with their provider. If a patient’s claim is not complete, the biller must feel comfortable reaching out to the health care provider to find the missing pieces. Proper classification and correct billing methods is a critical component to getting paid.

2. Be Proactive

Be proactive in furthering your knowledge, the medical billing industry is continuously changing, and it benefits a biller to remain on top of the industry standards. There are billing associations you can join such as the American Medical Billers Association. Taking classes at a local community college or attending a billing school will help hone your skills. If a medical biller has gone through certification, these should be kept current. 

3. Strong Follow-Up Skills

A good medical biller understands that having a strong follow-up and watching their dates is a critical component of revenue collecting. Identifying and correcting time management issues will increase productivity. An effective medical biller will set follow-up dates to track claims and set reminders in their billing program. 

EZClaim offers many tools to assist billers with follow-up tasks. Between customized grids, follow-up reports, tasks, and reminders there’s a tool that will work for you and your workflow process.

In conclusion, a thorough knowledge of billing software, processes, and practices, is just one component to becoming an effective biller. Building strong relationships with patients, providers, and insurance companies through excellent communications and strong follow-up skills will ensure that patients stay satisfied with the medical practice and that providers are paid in a timely manner. 

 


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.