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Psychologists have long known that color has the power to impact a viewer in a variety of ways. It can evoke a range of emotions, and more importantly, it can impact how the individual interprets information-even if they aren't aware of it.
Did you know that adding color to your patient statements can do much more than simply improving the appearance of a black and white document? You can strategically use color to improve readability, inject clarity into the statement, and even alleviate predisposed negativity.
Access tool:Sample Patient Statement
Because patients who are confused about their financial responsibilities are less likely to pay on time or in full, hospital billing managers, directors, and even CFOs should take a closer look at their current patient statement design. In an era of doing more with less, improving your existing patient statements can be an effective tool in accelerating your cash flow.
Building on insights into the psychology of color discussed by Pantone, an organization with a reputation for matching and communicating color for the graphic arts community, here are a few color-related tips for providers to consider when designing their patient statements.
Use warm colors to quickly direct the eyes. With all of the detailed information included in the most patient-friendly bill, individuals want to quickly and clearly see how much they owe at a glance. To help patients find this information, call out the most important items on the statement, such as "balance due," in warm hues like gold, orange, or red. Using bright, warm tones implies a sense of urgency that can expedite payment. However, red should be used sparingly because this color has proved to stimulate the senses and, in some cases, raise stress levels.
Mix brilliant complementary colors. Mixing striking color combinations is another effective way of bringing the patient's eyes to a certain point on the page. For example, you should use blue and orange on the statement to call out different payment options. Complementary colors are also used more effectively when they are outlined with a thin, neutral white, gray, or black line that separates the colors on paper, as well as in the patient's mind. If you are unsure of good color relationships, a color wheel-an arrangement of hues that shows the relationships between colors-might be helpful.
Calm with cooler shades. Blues, greens, and violets are associated with the sea and sky, and can have a calming effect on the brain. Statements printed with large areas of light blue or green can create a sense of ease for the patient while making them more receptive to your message.
Combine warm and cool colors for depth. Considering the dimensional aspects between warm and cool hues, statement designers might want to place warm colors in the foreground and cool colors in the background. This treatment creates an illusion of depth and is one more way to call attention to important items, such as the description of services.
Consider your printer. Many of today's printing solutions take advantage of higher-quality ink and improved printer mechanics to print a virtually unlimited range of hues at a reasonable cost. The most advanced printing systems are also able to print black variable data for custom messaging per patient and color all in a single pass through the equipment, eliminating the need to preprint color stock.
Strategic use of color can help highlight important information for patients and help ensure that your messages are read. Consider designing patient-friendly statements using subtle, but deliberate, colors to increase readability and direct patients to due dates, payment options, and balances. Taking the perplexity out of the patient statement leads to quicker and more accurate payments and a healthier revenue cycle.
With an advanced printing system and patient statement design expertise, Emdeon ExpressBill Services can transform your patient statements to help you collect more, faster. Call 877.EMDEON.6 (877-363-3666) or visit us online to learn more today.
Access related article:Better Statements by Design
Publication Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
TriMedx helps health systems control costs and uncover savings opportunities by optimizing the clinical engineering function.
Patient financial engagement is more challenging than ever – and more critical. With patient responsibility as a percentage of revenue on the rise, providers have seen their billing-related costs and accounts receivable levels increase. If increasing collection yield and reducing costs are a priority for your organization, the metrics outlined in this presentation will provide the framework you need to understand what’s working and what’s not, in order to guide your overall patient financial engagement initiatives and optimize results.
A leader from McKesson discusses how healthcare reform is forcing hospitals and health systems to take a different approach to capacity management and patient flow.
No two patients are the same. Each has a very personal healthcare experience, and each has distinct financial needs and preferences that have an impact on how, when and if they chose to pay their healthcare bill. It’s no longer effective to apply static billing techniques to solve the complex challenge of collecting balances from patients. The need to tailor financial conversations and payment options to individual needs and preferences is critical. This presentation provides 10 recommendations that will not only help you improve payment performance through a more tailored approach, but take control of rising collection costs.
Emad Rizk, MD, president and CEO of Accretive Health, discusses the uncertainty facing hospitals and the transitions affecting revenue cycle management.
This white paper, written by Apex Vice President of Solutions and Services, Carrie Romandine, discusses the importance of patient segmentation and messaging specifically related to the patient revenue cycle. Applying strategic messaging that is tailored to each patient type will not only better educate consumers on payment options specific to their billing needs, but it will maximize the amount collected before sending to collections. Further, targeted messaging should be applied across all points of patient interaction (i.e. point of service, customer service, patient statements) and analyzed regularly for maximized results.
Jim Bohnsack, vice president, solution & corporate development for Conifer Health Solutions, explains how the company helps healthcare providers leverage data to deliver better outcomes while optimizing reimbursement for all payment arrangements.
This white paper, written by Apex President Patrick Maurer, discusses methods to increase patient adoption of online payments. Providers are now seeking ways to incrementally collect more payments due from patients as well as speeding up the rate of collections. This white paper shows why patient-centric approaches to online payment portals are important complements to traditional provider-centric approaches.
Steve Scibetta, senior director of channel sales for Ontario Systems' healthcare product line, shares insights into effectively managing receivables.
Increased electronic engagement between healthcare providers and patients provides significant opportunities for improving revenue cycle metrics and encouraging patients to access EHRs. This article, written by Apex Founder and CEO Brian Kueppers, explores a number of strategies to create synergy between patient billing, online payment portals and electronic health record (EHR) software to realize a high ROI in speed to payment, patient satisfaction and portal adoption for meaningful use.
Elena White, vice president of risk, quality, and network solutions for Optum, discusses how healthcare providers can leverage data and technology as they enable risk in their organization.
Faced with a rising tide of bad debt, a large Southeastern healthcare system was seeing a sharp decline in net patient revenues. The need to improve collections was dire. By integrating critical tools and processes, the health system was able to increase online payments and improve its financial position. Taking a holistic approach increased overall collection yield by 10% while costs came down because the number of statements sent to patients fell by 10%, which equated to a $1.3M annualized improvement in patient cash over a six-month period. This case study explains how.
Somnia President and CEO Marc Koch, MD, MBA, explains how hospitals can drive transformative change in the perioperative experience for outstanding clinical and financial outcomes.
With the ICD10 deadline quickly approaching and daily responsibilities not slowing down, final preparations for October 1 require strategic prioritization and laser focus.
PMMC President Roger L. Shaul discusses the effects of healthcare reform on revenue cycle management and how PMMC's products help clients adapt to a changing financial environment.
Read how Gwinnett Medical Center provides clear connections to financial information, offers multiple payment options for patients, and gives onsite staff the ability to collect payments at multiple points throughout the care process.
Greg Burgess, Founder and Chief Product Officer at Burgess Group shares insights and opportunities for payment integrity in the rapidly changing healthcare IT landscape.
Read how Orlando Health was able to perform deeper dives into claims data to help the health system see claim rejections more quickly–even on the front end–and reduce A/R days.
To maintain fiscal fitness and boost patient satisfaction and loyalty, healthcare providers need visibility into when and how much they will be paid–by whom–and the ability to better navigate obstacles to payment. They need payment clarity. This whitepaper illuminates this concept that is winning fans at forward-thinking hospitals.
Financial services staff are always looking for ways to improve the verification, billing and collections processes, and Munson Healthcare is no different. Read about how they streamlined the billing process to produce cleaner bills on the front end and helped financial services staff collect more than $1 million in additional upfront annual revenue in one year.
Effective revenue cycle management can be a challenge for any hospital, but for smaller providers it is even tougher. Read how Wallace Thomson identified unreimbursed procedures, streamlined claims management, and improved its ability to determine charity eligibility.
Before launching an energy-efficiency initiative, it’s important to build a solid business case and understand the funding options and potential incentives that are available. Healthcare leaders should consider taking the steps outlined in the whitepaper to ease the process of gaining approval, piloting, implementing, and supporting sustainability projects. You will find that investing in sustainability and energy efficiency helps hospitals add cash to their bottom line. Discover how hospitals and health systems have various options for funding energy-efficient and renewable-energy initiatives, depending on their current financial structure and strategy.
Health care is a dynamic mergers and acquisitions market with numerous hospitals and health systems contemplating or pursuing formal arrangements with other entities. These relationships often pose a strategic benefit, such as enhancing competencies across the continuum, facilitating economies of scale, or giving the participants a competitive advantage in a crowded market. Underpinning any profitable acquisition is a robust capital planning strategy that ensures an organization reserves sufficient funds and efficiently onboards partners that advance the enterprise mission and values.
The success of healthcare mergers, acquisitions, and other affiliations is predicated in part on available capital, and the need for and sources of funding are considerations present throughout the partnering process, from choosing a partner to evaluating an arrangement’s capital needs to selecting an integration model to finding the right money source to finance the deal. This whitepaper offers several strategies that health system leaders have used to assess and manage capital needs for their growing networks.
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