Three Ways Technology is Helping Solve Current Patient Collection Challenges

Many medical practices struggle with capturing patient payments in a timely manner and in full.

The cause is often two-fold. First, the increased popularity of high deductible payment health plans has left many patients burdened with higher out-of-pocket costs. Second, the traditional billing process often makes it difficult for patients to clearly obtain necessary information, understand what is owed, and when to see the process through.

A recent study by U.S. Bank revealed that 66% of adults in the US worry about unexpected medical bills. Luckily, technology is proving to be more and more effective at solving issues currently plaguing the patient payment process.

Here are three key ways technology is helping practices collect more quickly and efficiently.

Meeting Patients’ Expectations

Improving the patient experience directly impacts a practice’s bottom line — and the payment process is a significant aspect. In fact, patient financial responsibility reached a net total of $491 billion in 2021, which only increases the importance of a patient-centric approach to billing.

The ease of access provided by digital payment technology is not lost on patients and strongly impacts their health provider choices. The rise of new technology in the healthcare industry is a continuing trend, and practices would be wise to adopt proficient digital programs to attract and retain patients across various generations.

Overall, 44% of millennials would choose a medical provider because they offered digital solutions via mobile, as well as 29% of Baby Boomers.

Shortening the Revenue Cycle

When healthcare administration has easy access to data and information, it paves the way for more streamlined payment communications. Both patients and staff often experience hurdles or are faced with multiple touchpoints to successfully complete a payment process.

Modern technology that supports text, email, and paper mail options, as well as automated follow-ups, is helping streamline and shorten this process for both parties. Forty-four percent of patients pay medical bills faster when they receive digital or phone notifications about billing, and 49% would pay by text if available.

Digital solutions enable medical practices to work smarter, not harder, and alleviate the collection process burden.

Ensuring Accurate Data Flow

Digital collection systems ensure that your patients feel secure with both their patient health information (PHI) and any payment information they can store for future use.

When the payment process is manual, it creates a larger margin of error for data entry and requires special processes to securely store or dispose of PHI. Many of the PHI theft and loss incidents involve paper records, which results in the exposure of large amounts of patient information.

As more practices have switched to digital methods, the amount of PHI and unencrypted ePHI that was lost or stolen in the last 5 years has decreased by about 50%. Shifting to a digital payment solution that was created for healthcare specifically can help ensure that your practice complies with all HIPAA requirements, while saving staff time.

Overall, digital technology simplifies the time-consuming process of patient payments for medical practices. In addition to saving administration costs and compiling important patient data, digital payment solutions provide an easier, more straightforward system for patients to adhere to.

The most important factor is to choose the right solution for your practice, your staff and your patients. Learn more about how technology and automated billing solutions can help solve collection challenges in the latest Kareo webinar: Skyrocket Your Practice Revenue: Leverage Technology to Transform Patient Collections.

About the Author

Kevin Clinton is the Director of Marketing, Payment Solutions and joined Kareo in 2019. He has more than 20 years of experience in Strategic Marketing and is...

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