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Transformation toward value-based healthcare is reshaping the delivery of care, patient expectations, and payment structures.
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As more patients point and click to settle up, the less you should be printing and mailing billing statements. It's time to start inviting patients to opt out of paper billing so you can maximize the benefits of your online payment system.
The paperless route for outbound statements and inbound payments is a win-win for providers and patients alike.
Cost savings. Obviously, when patients opt to go paperless, providers immediately trim expenses for paper, printing, and mailing. Given the high volume and frequency of patient billing, even a moderate reduction in outbound bills can help providers reap considerable cost savings.
Immediacy of cash flow. Payments made online are usually processed more quickly in comparison to mailed payments since automation eliminates most manual payment processing and posting tasks. Patients can check their updated balances online to confirm they're settled up, while you benefit from that payment without delay.
Easy, real-time tracking. For providers and patients alike, online payments can provide immediate and accurate account status information. Providers and patients can see where accounts stand in the moment and at any time around the clock. Additionally, emailed statements can be tracked to confirm the message was successfully delivered.
While the benefits of going paperless are numerous, providers can't arbitrarily cease sending mailed bills. For most organizations, patients must consent to opting out of receiving paper statements. Here are just a few ways to help foster the transition to paperless billing.
At registration. Not only should you encourage enrollment in online payment while patients are registering, but you should also invite them to opt out of paper billing at the same time.
On printed statements. Make every piece of printed billing material a reminder that patients can opt out of paper by including a reminder that paperless billing is an option, and by listing the online payment portal website address where patients can pay their bills online and opt out of paper bills.
On the online portal. Prompt patients to make the decision to go paperless within your online portal and make it part of the registration process. Display a message on the landing page and within auto-generated email confirmations as well.
Tout a discount. Provide a small financial incentive to patients who opt out of printed statements. Whether you take a set dollar amount off the patient's balance or give a percentage discount off the next statement, this motivates the patient to go paperless.
People power. Make the paperless pursuit an internal objective, especially for staff members in patient-facing financial service roles. Train the financial services team to mention opting out during all reasonable interactions, and consider incentives for those who successfully and measurably convert patients to paperless billing.
For some patients, paying online is the status quo. For others, it's a natural evolution to move away from mailed statements. No matter where they are on the spectrum, there's no denying that most patients want the ability to settle up electronically. Many of them don't just prefer online payments but also want to opt out of paper payments altogether. All you have to do is make the invitation and reap the rewards.
Emdeon Patient Pay Online can help your organization improve cash flow and reduce billing costs with less effort and paperwork. Call 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) to learn more.
Publication Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Tom Myers, chief strategy officer, The SSI Group, discusses the shifting payment environment and how it affects providers' patient access and claims management processes.
Jeff Chester, senior vice president and chief revenue officer at Availity, shares his thoughts on "Revenue Cycle 2.0" and how to best meet its challenges.
Mitch Morris, vice chair and global leader, healthcare, Deloitte, and Michael O'Rourke, senior vice president and chief information officer, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), share perspectives on the need for transformational IT in health care today.
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.
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.
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