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How friendly is your patient billing? This time, we're not asking in regard to statement layout and design or even language. We're inquiring about your level of charge consolidation. All too often, provider organizations send separate statements for care provided within a single health system leaving patients to make sense of a stack of bills. Yet, from the patients' perspective, they interacted with just one provider organization. No matter how well organized or clearly designed, statements may miss the mark on patient friendliness if they arrive piecemeal in the mail.
Patients often find it confusing to receive multiple statements from a single healthcare system. It's like shopping at one grocery store but paying separately for items purchased in each department, such as fruit, bread, and canned goods. When separate bills for the emergency department, outpatient services, hospital, and lab arrive in the mail one by one, that's hardly a patient-friendly approach.
It can be common for recipients to disregard multiple statements because they incorrectly presume the statements are duplicate copies of the same bill. Likewise, patients may arbitrarily pick and choose what statements to pay if they're unsure how to prioritize the bills. Unfortunately, a confused patient is more likely to pick up the phone with billing-related questions, rather than pick up a pen to write a check for payment.
Despite the problems, multiple statement billing is still standard across the industry because consolidation can be difficult for resource-strapped organizations trying to do it all on their own. This can create an issue, especially for providers operating with disparate billing systems. Unfortunately, many providers decide to stay the course rather than pursue a better approach.
Consolidated statements are logical, patient-focused solutions, and it's imperative that healthcare systems find ways to answer patients' billing needs. To enhance cash flow long term, providers should strive to make it easier and faster for patients to pay. Across the board, the benefits of moving to consolidated statements are compelling for both patients and providers.
Many provider organizations simply can't go it alone when it comes to consolidating statements: They may want to tap into the latest technologies offered by industry partners. Vendors in the market today can offer advanced printing and electronic mapping capabilities to make consolidation surprisingly simple and can tackle the "heavy lifting."
For providers looking to streamline all aspects of clinical and financial record keeping for patients, consolidated billing is the future-focused solution that's friendly to patients, beneficial for providers, and better for the system.
Emdeon ExpressBill Services provides paper and online patient billing and statement services that educate patients on their financial responsibilities. Emdeon handles printing, processing, and mailing of patient statements.
Publication Date: Monday, November 26, 2012
Brian Kueppers, founder and CEO, Apex, discusses the importance of a robust patient payment strategy in boosting organization revenue and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Brian Grazzini, CFO, HealthPort, describes the importance of efficient and compliant information exchange and audit management in helping HIM staff spend less time on paperwork and more on mission-critical projects.
Cindy Matthews, executive vice president, Community Hospital Corporation, discusses how rural and community hospitals can use collaborative partnering to position for success through tough market conditions.
Rick Heise, senior vice president, revenue cycle, at Cerner Corporation, discusses the importance of integrating clinical and financial data to excel in health care’s changing payment environment.
Dale Hockel, senior vice president of operations, and Jim Fanelli, CFO, TriMedx, share strategies for elevating clinical engineering through innovative management programs.
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
Scott Schmidt, vice president, Cerner RevWorks, LLC, shares insights on best practices for maximizing a revenue cycle management partnership.
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