RMK HOLDINGS INC.
How to Boost Revenue Cycle Efficiency with Payment Process Redesign
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
It may not be because they can’t afford to pay. Patients often default on their medical bills due to inefficient or understaffed payment processes. We have heard comments such as: I moved and did not receive a bill, I thought you’d never call and why are you calling months after I’ve had the service? The slow or non-payment then affects the health facility’s revenue cycle, and the bill is eventually recorded as bad debt.
Therefore, a consistently smooth and flexible payment process is essential to increase patients’ financial engagement. In this post, you’ll learn how to redesign your payment process to get more patients to pay their medical bills on time, thereby boosting your revenue cycle.
Three Keys to Redesign Payment Process to Boost Revenue Cycle
Here are three ways you can boost the efficiency of your revenue cycle by redesigning your payment process.
1. Provide Digital Self-Service Options
Traditional payment processes have too many frictions that prevent patients from paying their medical bills on time. For instance, patients may procrastinate calling a support center to pay over the phone because it takes time and too much effort.
In today’s world, most people make payments on their smartphones via the internet for household bills such as utilities. Why not offer a digital self-service option, allowing patients to quickly pay their medical bills on the go such as emailing or texting patients a direct link to a web page where they can make payment immediately without logging in first? Another digital payment option if your facility has a mobile app is enabling patients to make payments in-app. You can also provide contactless payment stations at your facility.
Related to boosting your revenue cycle, ensure your kiosks are equipped to capture/update insurance information before the patient is seen for their appointment. A patient's frustration will increase if they have checked in at the kiosk and verified information then are prompted to stand in line to provide or update insurance information - because it can't be done at the kiosk. The patient then has to start the check-in process from the beginning with the live registration individual. Incorporate digital self-service options that are easy, efficient and seamless.
2. Automate Your Customer Support
Having to reach out to customer support to get the most basic medical billing information slows down the process. Imagine a patient receives their bill and needs clarification before making payment. They’ll likely procrastinate calling the support center because waiting to get connected can be frustrating. And, if you operate a large-scale facility, it is possible your patient will be bounced to a different representative or disconnected during a transfer.
With automated customer support that provides help without delay, patients can quickly get the billing information they need. You can use AI (artificial intelligence) to automate your customer support and provide customized help to each patient. Some systems are highly accurate in speech recognition and getting a person to the correct option while others leave a lot to be desired!
Thoroughly vet vendors for customization options and ease of use to update as your practice evolves. Also, be sure to incorporate multiple options along the way for a live representative should your patient’s concern can't be satisfied.
For instance, a technology usage could be providing details of what their insurer paid and the balance due with a prompt to pay the balance.
3. Allow Patients to Self-Manage Their Accounts
The usual way of patients reaching out to your facility to manage their medical bill accounts slows down the payment process. When you enable patients to manage their accounts, you provide transparency because they can see exactly what their medical bill situation is and take appropriate actions.
One of the best ways to enable self-management is to have a robust patient portal app for your facility. Patients would only need to enter their personal (and even payment) information once during setup. Afterward, they won’t have to re-enter their details when filling out forms or making payments.
Also, self-management provides privacy that encourages patients to take action on their medical bills. For instance, patients who may be reluctant to contact the billing office to seek financing options can enroll in a patient payment plan from their account. System capability can also include choices to update a payment plan in the event a patient's financial situation changes.
An additional benefit of having a complete patient portal app customized for your facility is the ability to schedule appointments, share medical records between providers, upload/download documents, and provide patients the ability to view test results.
Redesigning your payment processes improves patients’ payment experience and increases the bill collection rate, boosting your revenue cycle efficiency. A crucial component of your healthcare company's success is on the bill collection side. When live help is needed to augment your collection process, an early-out collections partner can benefit your practice by effectively digging deep into why open account balances persist or catch up on your backlog. The outcome? Better patient satisfaction and a boost to revenue.