How Automated Healthcare Payment Collection Systems Can Save Your Practice Time and Money
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the financial health of many physician practices and outpatient care facilities. Staffing shortages, increased costs, finite resources and margin erosion are just a few areas where practices have been impacted. Eighty-one percent of physicians surveyed in the summer of 2020 said that revenue was still lower than pre-pandemic levels. Providers must identify ways to reach patients with efficiency and success to guarantee revenue for their practices. The good news: New approaches and optimizations are helping many maintain the health of their practices and streamline operations.
Patient payment collection technology is one advancement that many practices are adopting to save time and money. Rising patient payment responsibility has resulted in growing consumer healthcare debt and an overall slowed ability for patients to pay. Exacerbating this is the upward trend in telehealth appointments – which reduces time-of-service payment collections.
The solution to patient collection viability is a robust, omni-channel platform that takes complexities out of the payment process for both staff and patients. Technological efficiencies offer a more reliable collection process to get paid more, and faster.
More revenue from digital communications
Traditional mailed paper statements should be nearly obsolete in today’s modern era of digital communications. Eighty-five percent of consumers say they prefer an electronic payment method for their medical bills. Providers that use a collections technology platform and deploy text and email in addition to mail collections communications will see more patient engagement and revenue returns.
Many providers find that texts sent to patients are more likely to be opened than mailed statements. In fact, some billers report that 95 percent of SMS texts to patients were opened within the first few minutes of being received, resulting in immediate payments. A large part of text notification success is the high SMS delivery rate as opposed to paper statements, which may go to an incorrect physical address.
Save staff time by eliminating manual data entry
Traditional payment processes require hours of data input. Such inefficient manual entry has been a drain on staff time and resources and ultimately takes precious hours away from other more pressing tasks. Thankfully those days have passed. Patient collection platforms like Kareo Patient Collect were designed to maximize staff time with automated patient collections.
Empowering patients to post digital payments not only drives more revenue response in a shorter amount of time – it also makes patients more comfortable with the process. Features such as unlimited text, email digital statements and card on file save time and guarantee a method of payment for future encounters with one-click payment processing. Plus, electronic payments post immediately!
No added staff necessary for manual collections
The old days of spending hours on the phone and hiring added staff to work on patient payment collections are over. “Phone time is way down because patients go to the Kareo portal and review charges and payments on their own,” says Katie Howell, practice manager at Greensboro Pediatric Surgery.
Having fewer accounts in collections saves time on research and reduces time spent on bad debt. Case in point: many practices report that Kareo’s Patient Collect system has reduced outstanding invoices by up to 30 percent. This opens up more time for your staff to address other imperative tasks and minimizes the need for additional staff to share the burden of time-consuming collections.
Increase staff satisfaction and retention
Medical office staff often work in multiple complex systems to take payments and process collections. As busy as they are, they don’t need more complexity in their workflow.
The right automated collections system can be easy to learn, simple to use and offer the flexibility and customization they need. It can reduce screen time, offer streamlined collections experiences, and generally make staff members’ lives easier – not harder. “We can ramp up a new client or employee in half the time it took us before,” says Terri Newton, owner of Multi-Medical Specialties Billing Inc. When staff feel supported with powerful tools that meet their needs, they are more satisfied with their work and more inclined to stay, thus encouraging staff retention.
Save time and collect more revenue today
It’s time for providers, clinics and medical groups to make the leap to the right automated patient collections system and say goodbye to wasted time and lost revenue. Deploying successful digital communications, reducing manual data entry, minimizing collections time or the need for added personnel, and increasing staff satisfaction, can all contribute to a more successful collections process and a healthier practice.
Looking for more on this topic? Read “Patient Collection Problems? 3 Solutions for Reducing Bad Debt in a Consumer Market” or check out our ebook: “Top Factors Contributing to Your Practice’s Revenue Decline – And How Technology Can Help You Overcome Them.”