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Top five ways healthcare providers can improve collections in 2021

Providing patient care is a balancing act. The pandemic has underscored it even further. On one hand, the care needs have gone up while on the other, the patients are facing financial hardship because of uncertain economic environment. Healthcare providers, whether clinics or hospitals, are faced with a major challenge to maintain a healthy cash flow. They need to pay the office rent, staff and other suppliers on time while minimizing the monthly credit requirement.

Obviously, the healthy cash flow is an important aspect towards streamlined operations of the clinic or hospital. Broadly, healthcare providers receive payments in following three ways:  

  1. Insurance payment receivables
  2. Patient responsibility payments (out of pocket expenses) for insured patients
  3. Patients who pay for their own care in full

In this article, our focus is on first two types of receivables and how providers can leverage digital technology to improve the receivables.

Five digital technology solutions that enhance collections

Increase patient responsibility payments with Digital Payments 

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In today’s world of contact less payments, more than 50% patient expect that their provider gives them an option of paying their patient responsibility share using digital options like online credit/debit card payment and digital wallets such as Apple pay and Google pay. Practices offering such an option have seen their collections improving drastically.

Implement patient friendly billing at the point of care using digital tools 

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It is observed that more than 60% patient pay their share of bill if the charges are explained in an a simple and easy to understand manner at the point of care. Some key aspects include their responsibility towards co-pay, coinsurance and deductible as well as date by which this money needs to be paid. The digital technology today can connect to payer websites in real time and provide quick estimation of these charges based on insured benefit plan. This improves patient’s understanding of potential charges and will help in improving the collection.

Digitize paper check payments 

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Even today, many providers receive paper checks from insurance companies and patients. A remote deposit capture software credits the money into provider’s bank account electronically. Moreover, the check scanners are now available on mobile devices also. Additionally, a digital add on can record this payment information against the patient account in practice management system and facilitates automated reconciliation.

Improve claims denials through claims audit and digital reconciliation systems 

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It is observed that more than 60% patient pay their share of bill if the charges are explained in an a simple and easy to understand manner at the point of care. Some key aspects include their responsibility towards co-pay, coinsurance and deductible as well as date by which this money needs to be paid. The digital technology today can connect to payer websites in real time and provide quick estimation of these charges based on insured benefit plan. This improves patient’s understanding of potential charges and will help in improving the collection.

New generation medical billing and coding practices using AI tools

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Medical billing is a complex process and manual errors in coding results in delayed payments. With AI technology, the software can accurately suggest the code that can be used for a particular service by reading doctor’s note. Moreover, the software can leverage past data and correct the potential errors. This leads to improved billing accuracy and faster payments for providers. 

The key to these changes is to make a beginning. Even if providers start with implementing one of the solutions, they can see immediate positive impact on their collections. At Newscape, we have helped leading providers to implement these digital solutions to improve their collections and in realizing quick business benefits.

Let us discuss your digital journey, understand the success stories and missed opportunities and together drive a new future for healthcare.

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