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The Power of Tech: Encouraging Timely Patient Payments

By December 6, 2018 Healthcare

How do you create a revenue cycle that drives optimal outcomes, promotes happy patients, and encourages team resilience?

The answer to that question is going to involve technology that centers on patients and encourages engagement. Making the best technology choices is rooted in understanding your patients’ relationship with payments and the ideal tech options that will help you reach your goals.

Start With the Right Perspective

It’s easy to look at tight margins and swelling bad debt and see your patients’ payment habits as hurdles to a healthy revenue cycle. Rather than a hurdle, patient payments are an opportunity. Most patients want to settle their accounts. They want to understand their obligations from the beginning, and they’re more than willing to work with you in managing their financial experience.

Your patients want a partner, and thanks to new revenue cycle technologies, you have opportunities to be that partner in ways that never existed before.

Patients Want Simplicity

Patient payment habits are actually very logical when you take a closer look.

Your patients are making tech-enabled transactions every day in restaurants, retail stores, and online. All they really want from healthcare is an experience that aligns with their payment preferences, and that is where revenue cycle leaders have tremendous opportunity to see the benefits of leveraging payment technologies.

According to last year’s Trends in Healthcare Payments Eighth Annual Report:

– 71 percent of patients would prefer to pay their bills in one place.
– 80 percent of patients want to pay via their own secure mobile devices.
– 65 percent said they’d be open to downloading a new mobile app to pay their bills.

Patients aren’t asking you to reinvent the wheel. They’re simply asking you to understand how they live and provide access to the tech solutions they already know.

Payment technologies can be diverse, but there is one common thread — your patients like self-service. This isn’t just about the rise of millennials as healthcare payers. Forrester Research found that as of 2015, web and mobile self-service interactions have beaten out live-assist channels (like customer service phone and chat support) across all demographics, and for good reason. Barring highly complex or frustrating problems, self-service options yield clear benefits for patients including:

– Increased efficiency.
– Fewer mistakes due to human error.
– Asynchronous interactions that fit busy schedules.
– The personal satisfaction of being in control.

These benefits flow both ways. Empower your patients with more self-service options, and they’ll reward you with increased loyalty and a more productive revenue cycle.

 

The Tech That Closes the Gap

You have a world of payment solutions in front of you, but there are a few fundamental options you should consider to help get your patients to an enthusiastic “I’ll pay!

Point-of-Service Payments

Patients love when educated staff know how to clearly and compassionately explain financial obligations. These difficult conversations are best enabled by technology like multiple point-of-service payment options, estimations of service costs, and integrated merchant services solutions (something most other industries take full advantage of) to give patients the ability to break up payments the way they want, or even set up payment plans.

Online Portals

Patient portals connect directly with your patients’ online habits by giving them access to bills and payment information, along with the ability to make payments when it is most convenient. If you’re looking to boost portal engagement, consider building awareness in statement inserts, email confirmations, smart signage, and social media, as well as more traditional methods like pamphlets.

Tablets

As of January 2018, over half of American adults owned a tablet. Leverage this familiarity with check-in devices that prompt patients to submit payments via credit or debit and also HSA/FSA.

Phone

If certain demographics are not comfortable with mobile, there is a good chance they appreciate being able to make payments over the phone. IVR options can open the potential of 24/7 payments — just make sure to promote phone options along with your portal to increase and maintain awareness.

Helping your patients grow into enthusiastic, empowered healthcare consumers is a process. If you’d like to learn more about the technology around omnichannel payments, read this brief white paper, Moving Patients from “No-pay” to “I’ll pay”.

 

RevSpring Can Help

Integrated payment communication is part of RevSpring’s DNA. We tailor the payment conversation to influence behavior and inspire action. Our segmentation rules and workflows help you become hyper-focused on the patient, understanding their ability to pay and mapping their financial obligations to repayment pathways.

If you’d like to learn more about our comprehensive patient engagement and billing solutions, we’d love to help you. Request a demo to see how we can help your organization meet its goals.

 

 

 

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