Putting the Patient at the Center of Your Self Pay Strategy, Part 2

As we touched upon in Part 1 of this blog series focusing on the issue of increased patient payment responsibility, providers must now put the patient at the center of their self pay strategies, and view them as consumers of services as well as patients receiving treatment.

sample_statement_page_1_cropAThe statistics we outlined in that post clearly reveal the increasing liability that now befalls a large percentage of patients when it comes to the financial responsibility for their treatment. Providers must do everything they can to minimize the associated negative effects of this new burden. Adopting an aggressive, technology-driven approach that informs, educates and simplifies processes for patients will go a long way to creating a positive experience and collections success.

That’s why many hospitals and physician practices across the country are taking a hard look at their processes, procedures and systems to determine if they could be doing more. Last time we looked at the important role an innovative patient portal can play in improving the chance of timely payments. Today we’ll focus on the difference that well-designed patient statements can make in that regard. [above links to previous blog post on patient portals]

Typically, the statements generated by provider billing systems are confusing and difficult to understand, which results in frustration and dissatisfaction. Obviously, in today’s competitive healthcare environment, no provider wants their patients seeking subsequent treatment at another facility because they’re unhappy with their past experience. So let’s take a quick look at what constitutes a sound, patient-friendly billing statement.

First and foremost, a billing statement, whether paper or online, should be as simple as it is informative. It should be easy to read and clearly present details pertaining to charge summaries, specifics about payment terms, adjustments and more.

Many online statements incorporate an FAQ section, where answers to common questions can be quickly delivered. More importantly, an effective online billing statement should provide for two-way communication between your patient and your back office, with near real-time messaging capabilities where more specific concerns can be quickly addressed.

Remember, too, that while your patients are now also consumers, they’re not doctors. Abbreviate and simplify difficult medical terms so they are easier to understand.

Ultimately, an online billing statement should provide easy and convenient payment options. Even with your older patient population, the convenience of online bill payment has become standard operating procedure. And the more simple and convenient you can make it for your patients to pay their bills, the more likely they’ll be to pay in full and in a timely fashion.



About Kent Smith

Kent Smith

Kent leads MediRevv’s new business sales initiatives and marketing and account management programs. He has built, from the ground up, a cohesive team of healthcare sales and marketing professionals who understand the critical aspects of any engagement: exceeding the expectations of and creating value for our clients; building enduring, mutually beneficial partnerships; and maintaining transparency and a high level of trust in our execution.

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