In today’s health care climate, hospitals need to adopt new patient collection strategies if they want to stay successful. Boosting patient payments is only going to become more important as patients’ personal cost responsibilities increase due to a rise in high-deductible health plans. One way to do this is to move the payments process right to the front of the treatment process – at the point-of-service.
POS is one of the biggest trends right now for improving patient collections because of its high success rate. According to a list of the top five ways to improve patient collections by Becker’s Hospital Review, research has found POS collection tools is successful with 96 percent of patients. If hospitals wait one month to ask for payment, patient collection rates drop to just 18 percent. That is a difference of 78 percentage points.
POS collections require the right tools.
Collecting patient payments at the POS means more than simply placing a cash register or a calculator at reception. Just telling patients that they owe a certain amount to the hospital and need to pay off part of their bill before the leave the building isn’t necessarily going to help health systems increase their collection of patient payments. Hospitals need to invest in the proper tools, with smart alerts and cost estimations, for patients to view their existing bills and provide payment without sacrificing patient satisfaction. The best POS tools will ensure patients understand how much they owe without disrupting their experience. POS tools need to use the latest technology, such as tablets, and make it easy for patients to provide payment with just a tap of their fingers.
According to the Becker’s list, POS is just one way to improve collections – hospitals must also:
- Communicate with patients about the cost of care
- Give staff the resources they need to work with patients so they understand their own cost responsibilities
- Make it easy for patients to pay
- Educate patients about care costs through access to data
The right POS tools accomplish every strategy on this list. The best POS solutions provide cost estimations and smart alerts about existing bills so that the hospital communicates with patients about the cost of care. The solutions should be the perfect resource for staff to talk with patients because everything patients need is in one, easy-to-use platform. Accessible types of mobile technology like iPads or tablets make it simple for patients to pay, and make educating patients about their financial responsibilities straightforward.