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We are becoming a multi-screen society, navigating between our laptops, e-readers, and smart phones to communicate and interact with the world. On a more frequent basis, we are using our digital devices to purchase things and participate in life around the clock. According to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, U.S. online sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled $61.8 billion, an increase of 38.7 percent from the third quarter of 2011.
So why aren't more patients paying their medical bills online? While many providers have long offered online payment alternatives, patients may have the perception that it's still a paper-based business. Since providing greater payment flexibility is certainly a patient-friendly practice, how can hospitals and health systems get patients pointing and clicking their balances down to zero? Here are five ideas to jumpstart your program.
Seems obvious doesn't it? But don't presume patients know about your online payment solution. Tell them every chance you get, such as in person, on printed materials, on your website home page, and on signage within your facility. You should also add links in your email signatures to your online payment portal, post information within your social media platforms, and include references within the recorded messages that patients hear when placed on hold.
Integrate your online payment account sign-up within your registration process. Train patient access counselors to walk patients through the sign-up process during registration so that online payment is already an option for them even before they receive care.
Offer meaningful monetary incentives for patients who opt to pay online. Whether you offer a percentage discount, provide more flexible terms, or arrange some other reward, assign a dollar value to give patients more reasons to pay online.
Consider integrating other online administrative services into your website to provide even more reasons for patients to turn to your online portal as a resource. See your website as an interactive tool that acts as an extension of your staff. Patients are motivated by simple solutions that save both time and money so make the most of your online portal's ability to do both.
Patients use a variety of devices, so ensure your payment interface (and your entire website for that matter) is functional and user-friendly for the most popular gadgets. You may even want to consider using a mobile app to handle digital payments depending on your patient population and the volume of accounts.
Looking for an online patient billing and payment solution that can help your organization automate the collection of patient receivables? Take a closer look at Emdeon Patient Pay Online or call us at 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) for more information.
Access related article:Patient Demand for Online Payment Portal Pays Off for BHS
Publication Date: Thursday, May 17, 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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