Among the continuing challenges the healthcare industry faces, revenue cycle remains at the top of the list. Today, more than ever, providers are looking for new ways to collect balances from patients quickly and efficiently. According to the 2016 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report (THPAR), “The new reality in healthcare is that consumers not only owe more – in the form of deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and health plan premiums – but the amounts are higher than they ever have been before.”
As the financial responsibility has shifted from payer to patient the stark reality for practices today can be excessive write-offs, bad debt and lost patients. Offering in house payment plans have proven to be a sound solution to collecting patient balances and helping patients deal with this shift, without involving outside patient finance programs.
The THPAR reports, “Payment plans, deployed with the proper collection methods, policies, procedures, technical security and compliance, can yield equally high collection rates without the fees pursuant to recourse and non-recourse lending. In effect, the self-funding model powered with payment plans replaces the lender as an intermediary with technology and improved business practices.”
Automated Payment Plan Benefits to The Patient:
- Allows them to understand their financial responsibility at time of service
- Relieves them of any additional costs associated with interest rates assessed by patient financing programs and creditors
- Automated payment plan technologies can deduct payments automatically without any manual work from the patient
- Payment plan technology integrated with an online payment portal allows them to easily view and manage their balances online
Automated Payment Plan Benefits to The Practice:
- Automated payment plan technology eliminates time and labor associated with chasing payments in collections
- Setting up structured payment plans with patients at time of service greatly increases the likelihood of payment being collected and decreases bad debt
- Installment plan technology automatically collects payments without any additional work from office staff
- Accounts receivables is managed more efficiently, reducing collections times and ultimately boosting bottom lines
As with anything, communication is key to making payment plans successful for patients and practices. Setting up automated communications in conjunction with payment plans will not only ensure payments are made on time, but that patients are happy and in the loop.
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Affordable payment plan technology like PaymentCare can help practices manage these processes and revolutionize their revenue cycle system.