eClinicalWorks Blog Details
- 15 July 2021
Improving Collections and Efficiency in Healthcare
Everyone knows — or assumes they know — that a certain percentage of revenue is lost when using traditional methods of collecting healthcare payments. After all, if you print and mail several notices, cash checks, and spend time posting and reconciling payments, a lot can go wrong.
Why lose 15% to traditional collection methods?
How much revenue is lost? Well, a 2011 study conducted at Western Michigan University cited a 2008 Congressional Budget Office study that estimated that “$300 billion per year is incurred by administrative costs by healthcare providers and public and private payers.”
If you want to cut your collection costs, watch this video on healow Payment Services to see how you can get started.
Two additional studies cited by the Western Michigan researcher conclude that the U.S. healthcare payments system consumes about 15% of revenue in processing costs versus an average of only 2% for retail industries, where electronic payment methods are much more prevalent.
Yet many medical practices continue to print and mail bills and have staff who handle the posting and reconciliation of payments.
“The high administrative costs incurred by healthcare providers is attributed mainly to burdensome paperwork that requires manual handling of documents for claim processing, record keeping, and payments processing,” the Michigan study states. “Savings by the healthcare-payment system would be enormous by adopting a much higher rate of electronic-payment processing.”
How healow Payment Services can help
healow Payment Services is a fast, efficient, and fully secure method for collecting copayments and balances. Compared with using traditional methods, your practice can send bills for just pennies on the dollar and collect payments more quickly.
In addition to saving money on printing and postage, you could reduce time spent processing those payments and eliminate posting errors.
The three-part bottom line: Higher patient satisfaction, less work for your staff, and a reduction in your accounts receivable.
Practices like yours have already gone electronic
Dr. Susan Averitt of Best Start Pediatrics in Springdale, Arkansas, said that the introduction of healow Payment Services at her practice — used with healow CHECK-IN™ —has led to a sharp increase in the collection of copayments when patients check in.
“We used to spend a lot of time tracking down payments,” Dr. Averitt said. “With healow in place, we can spend our time on direct patient care. Staff love it, and patients appreciate the convenience.”
This analysis by the Healthcare Financial Management Association notes that while nearly all (96%) of organizations have pre-payment and point-of-service collections options, only 60% of practices reach out to patients prior to the date of their visit for payments.
Moreover, the HFMA analysis notes, the smaller your practice is, the less likely you are to ask for payments up front.
Making the payment process easier for all
One of the advantages of healow Payment Services, particularly when used with an online check-in tool, consists in providing patients with multiple opportunities to pay a copayment or balance before the visit. In many cases, office staff don’t even need to ask for payments and can focus on providing care.
OK, maybe you’re convinced. But maybe it’s not your decision, and the person who needs to make this decision is very busy.
If that describes your practice, here’s that simple video again that explains healow Payment Services in just under 90 seconds. Share around your office so your entire team can see how much time, effort, and money they could be saving.