A 2019 Healthcare Consumer Study found that half of healthcare consumers are frustrated with their provider’s patient billing and collections. Further, the study found that 1 in 3 Americans don’t think that healthcare providers have done enough to improve the patient billing and payment process. When asked to rate the worst part of their experience with a provider, the majority took issue with pre- or post-visit administrative processes beyond clinical care.
Younger Americans are the most frustrated with patient billing processes and the most likely to switch providers if they have a poor experience. More than double the number of adults aged 18-24 (66%) indicated frustration with their healthcare provider’s lack of adoption of digital patient administrative processes compared to those aged 65 and older (29%).
One of the broader patient complaints focused on in the study was the lack of modernization in quality digital experiences. The study found that 52% of healthcare consumers consult online review sites when choosing a provider. They indicated that they are willing to switch providers due to poor digital experiences and negative online reviews. In fact, 1 in 5 consumers left a provider because of a poor digital experience – and another 1 in 5 have given a negative review of a healthcare provider because of a poor digital experience.
To meet these consumer expectations and improve the patient financial experience, the authors of the study recommend five key moves:
- More congruent experiences with administration, including insurance and co-pay collection
- Online payment options
- Upfront costs estimations
- Payment plans
- Fewer, more consolidated bills for each visit
What more can you do to improve the patient experience, specifically in your small to mid-sized practice? At MacPractice, we believe better patient collections starts with having cost-effective point-of-service patient collection tools and strategies to help maintain a healthy revenue stream of patient payments coming into the office with your patients, and a healthy revenue cycle management system for collecting more revenue once the patient has left. MacPractice has a few additional suggestions of our own:
Optimize Patient Collections
You can optimize patient collections by first collecting co-pays and communicating fees as thoroughly and quickly as possible. Well-trained front office staff are vital to the success of patient collections. The more they understand patient financial responsibility, the clearer they can communicate it to your patients. Tools like the MacPractice integration with TSYS allow them to collect credit card payments or even accept mobile payments right in the MacPractice Ledger. Less redundant data entry means more time to focus on patients.
Use Eligibility Verification
Eligibility verification allows you to access real-time eligibility and benefits information so that you and your patients know what to expect from the start. No one likes unaffordable surprises! Establishing benefit eligibility at the point of service reduces cost, ensures appropriate care, and increases let you know how you can plan to be reimbursed. The sooner you have checked a patient’s eligibility for a service or procedure, the more quickly you can improve claim accuracy.
Appointment Reminders can help streamline patient payments, too. No-shows cost your practice a lot of money. Patients are more likely to keep their appointments or reschedule beforehand when they receive text, email, or phone call reminders. By automating this task with AutoRemind, your practice staff can focus on other critical clerical duties, like answering phones promptly and providing exceptional service to your patients. Patients that have been reminded are more likely to show up to their appointments and come prepared to pay their out-of-pocket costs.
Develop Your Online Reputation
Developing an online reputation management strategy will help you put your best foot forward when it comes to your practice’s online image. MacPractice Reputation Marketing puts you in control of your online reputation by delivering feedback and patient reviews in real-time, so you can take control of your status and then promote it online. MacPractice Reputation Plus automatically reaches out to and follows up with your recent patients to generate a feedback snapshot of their most recent visit to your practice. It also aggregates your patient feedback and online reviews into a simple dashboard that shows the overall feedback and online rating score of your practice. Patients are routed to your practice’s page to leave positive reviews, but negative reviews are given a form allowing you to address a poor experience promptly.
Perhaps the most essential part of maintaining a quality patient collections workflow is generating efficient statements for your patients. With MacPractice, you can choose to print your own statements or use our eStatements services to automate the process. On top of that, MacPractice works with Transworld to offer you profit recovery and increase your cash flow with proven, more diplomatic patient collections services.
Streamline Your Billing
Practices need a clear process to follow when it comes to minimizing lost revenue. A streamlined process starts at the front desk and works itself through to the back office. Beyond patient payments, managing claims properly is key to keeping your practice's financial health running smoothly. Unfortunately, all too many claims contain errors. Rejections are standard and often take weeks to resolve. Streamline your billing for more success.
Outsource Your Billing to MacPractice Business Services
Billing Services can save your practice in a lot of ways... time, money, and maybe even save your practice in general. Many small practice owners cite anxiety over getting paid as the number one cause of deciding to sell their practice. Medical billing is complex and changes very quickly. It can be difficult for any small practice to keep up with the demands of running a business and providing excellent patient care. When billing becomes overwhelming, unfortunately, it is the the care we provide our patients that takes the biggest hit. MacPractice Billing Services can make managing your billing so much easier because we have a dedicated team that works tirelessly to get you paid. We can get started in 2-5 business days! Transitioning is fast and straightforward. We can work through the bureaucracy and red tape of insurance payment and help you collect more, faster. We manage your billing, while you gain freedom to run your business and see patients.