Patient payment systems for healthcare are at a turning point. Payments are surging, expected to grow to an astounding $515 billion in 2019, while deductibles are following the trend, rising on average by more than 150 percent from 2009 to 2018.
However, provider workflows are not fully aligned to these new developments. To secure that new revenue, hospital leaders have to reposition their revenue cycles to engage patients throughout their healthcare journey.
Providers recognize the need to address affordability with personalized paths to payment using a consumer-centric approach. Patients, presented with personalized payment plans and automated service information, are far more likely to pay their medical bills, and, in turn, hospitals increase their revenue stream.
To optimize healthcare revenue cycles, maximize patient engagement, and revenue, providers can take three key steps:
1. Increase collection rates by making it easier for patients to pay
Patients want to pay for their care – offer budget-friendly payment options to help them engage fully. Hospital leaders who recognize this will create personalized payment services which can engage patients and improve income.
Automated self-service helps patients manage their payments by answering two critical questions, “What will this cost me?” and “How will I pay for this?” If your revenue cycle can address these two questions patients will engage easily, pay faster, and feel greater loyalty to your organization.
Another way to help patients pay for their care is inclusion of expanded payment options through a customer-centered financial care platform. A customized payment platform can offer patients a revolving line of credit dedicated to their healthcare bills.
2. Improve staff productivity with efficient payment processing
Revenue cycle automation is increasingly recognized as an effective tool to significantly reduce the administrative burden on healthcare professionals, streamline workflows, and reduce costs.
Staff can utilize software tools that assess patients’ historical data and estimate allowable expenses for specific payers and procedures. They can also implement front-end revenue cycle management systems that electronically verify insurance and use payer contract data to calculate personalized out-of-pocket costs for patients.
Overall, CFOs and revenue cycle teams are becoming more tech-savvy while adapting to this more complex and digitized healthcare landscape. According to one survey, 86% of CFOs and other senior finance leaders who digitized more than 25% of their financial process said ROI was substantial.
3. Reduce expenses by auto-posting patient payments, automating low-value tasks, and using patient propensity to pay to get payment.
The automation that underlies new personalized self-service patient payment systems is already creating increased revenue streams and lowered costs for providers.
Providers who adopt revenue cycle automation such as predictive analytics to personalize payment services with automated, streamlined workflow processes, will save time see increased reimbursement.
By embracing self-service engagements to reach more patients and save staff time, providers can enjoy significant financial benefits. A proactive approach to patient billing will help providers automate their revenue cycle while enhancing the patient’s experience and overall satisfaction.