In today’s healthcare world, it’s more important than ever for providers to make sure they are carefully following all of the best practice guidelines for billing and payment. Every year, uninsured hospital patients build up $49 billion in medical debt. In the United States, there is more money spent per person on healthcare than any other country in the world. With more people than ever before being insured because of the institution of the Affordable Care Act, there are also more people than ever before who need to be billed for services.
Here are a few guidelines to help healthcare providers to better manage billing processes:
• Offer multiple payment options. A simple way healthcare organizations can make the payment process easier is to create an online portal to accept credit or debit card payments. This portal can be secured to keep the patient’s data safe, and it is also a fast, efficient method that allows patients to pay from anywhere they have an internet connection. Providers can also continue to offer options to pay by sending a check through the mail or by calling in to a customer service line.
• Do what you can to encourage early payment. Encourage patients to pay for their treatments ahead of time through pre-funded accounts. This can help to remove a lot of the stress from the payment process and make it easier for them to effectively plan their payment. It also prevents the provider from having to chase down the patient for payment later on.
• Keep costs of billing low. Because there’s more debt in healthcare organizations, it’s important for providers to reduce costs of billing whenever possible. This means embracing new forms of technology rather than having to rely on mailing out invoices and statements, and only accepting payments through bank transactions and checks. Healthcare organizations could save a significant amount of money by going paperless for billing.
• Place an emphasis on security. Patients want to know their personal data is safe at all times, especially in the wake of some recent high-profile data breaches at healthcare facilities. Secure online portals can keep patient data secure while making it more efficient for payments to be processed.
These are four easy tips healthcare providers can follow to simplify the healthcare billing and collection process and make it less expensive for everyone involved.
About Howell Consulting Group
Howell Consulting Group provides healthcare consulting services to hospital and physcian practices nationwide. Our key focus areas are revenue cycle management, health information technology, and revenue cycle billing and collections.
HCGs consultants are highly experienced in all aspects of healthcare financial management. We implement revenue cycle best practices to optimize your receivables performance and maximize your cash flow.
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