How to Save Time and Money by Automating Patient Payment Collections

 Erika Regulsky RCM
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Automated Patient Payment Collections - Save Time and Money

In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, patients are shouldering an increasing share of healthcare costs. The figures are staggering: Out-of-pocket spending reached a staggering $491.6 billion in 2021, marking a nearly 10% surge from the previous year. Experts predict this upward trajectory will persist, with estimates projecting a colossal $800 billion by 2026. As patients become more invested in their healthcare financials, the demand for convenient payment options has never been greater. This is precisely where the power of automating patient payment collections comes into play, offering a streamlined solution that benefits both patients and healthcare providers.

The Growing Need for Automated Healthcare Payments

The traditional approach of manually collecting payments from patients not only consumes significant time but also escalates the risk of uncollected payments. Manual payment processes necessitate considerable administrative effort, diverting precious resources away from more valuable tasks. However, the solution lies in the realm of automation, presenting a range of advantages that can transform the landscape of patient payment collections.

Why Make the Shift to Automated Patient Billing

Transitioning from paper-based billing to automated patient billing has far-reaching benefits. Notably, it aligns with the global push for environmental sustainability, reducing carbon footprints by minimizing paper usage. Beyond environmental considerations, the shift to automated patient billing fundamentally enhances patient satisfaction while driving practice efficiency.

The statistics: a significant portion of healthcare providers—approximately 75%—still rely on paper-based and manual processes. In stark contrast, practices that embrace automated billing experience accelerated revenue cycles and time savings. Here’s a closer look at the advantages:

1. Save Space and Reduce Costs

The era of endless file cabinets and towering stacks of paperwork is rapidly fading. With modern cloud technology, the storage of patient billing information has become virtually invisible, freeing up physical space and mitigating costs associated with manual storage and management.

2. Increase Patient Privacy and Data Security

Privacy breaches are a major concern in healthcare, with paper-based records susceptible to unauthorized access. Surprisingly, 2018 witnessed a staggering 65% of medical data breaches stemming from paper or film-based patient records, despite the increasing use of digital records. By transitioning to automated patient billing, practices can bolster patient privacy through secure electronic communication channels, such as client portals, texts, and emails.

3. Encourage On-Time Payments

Conventional billing methods often result in delayed payments due to forgetfulness or oversight. Automating healthcare payments offers a remedy by allowing tailored payment reminders based on individual patient needs, increasing the likelihood of prompt payments.

4. Enhance Transparency and Patient Experience

Receiving fragmented bills in multiple envelopes can cause confusion and dissatisfaction among patients. Automated healthcare billing resolves this issue by presenting all relevant payment information in a consolidated manner, improving patient perception of the practice’s communication and service.

Patient Payment Collections

Implementing Automated Healthcare Payment Solutions

To fully harness the benefits of automated patient payment collections, healthcare practices need a comprehensive, user-friendly automation solution that integrates seamlessly with their existing systems. An innovative healthcare management system, when integrated with the practice’s EHR and PMS software, offers a holistic solution.

This automated patient payment collection system streamlines patient interactions by offering a digital check-in experience for both in-person and virtual visits. Patients have the option to securely store their credit card information for automatic charges or invoicing. The system also extends its advantages beyond convenience:

1. Receive Copays Before the Visit

Digital check-ins empower patients to pay their copays upfront, providing a streamlined experience and saving both the practice and patients valuable time.

2. Streamline Post-Adjudication Billing

The integration with the practice’s EHR system facilitates automatic billing via credit cards or invoice reminders through text and email. This prompts prompt payments and simplifies record-keeping.

3. Facilitate Post-Visit Payments

Automated patient payment collection enables immediate payment processing post-visit, either through automatic credit card charges or secure digital form invoices. Patients can pay using stored payment methods or input new ones for secure storage.

The All-Inclusive Solution for Modern Practices

Automating patient payment collections isn’t just about payments—it’s about delivering a comprehensive, modern patient engagement experience. Patients today seek seamless, technology-driven interactions, and embracing patient payment collection automation caters to this demand.

Beyond payment automation, the integrated healthcare management system offers a plethora of features to transform practice operations:

Digital Intake Forms:

Eliminate paper forms with digital alternatives accessible via text, email, or web, enhancing patient convenience.

Attendance Predictor:

Utilize artificial intelligence algorithms to predict no-shows and cancellations, ensuring optimized scheduling and resource allocation.

Appointment Reminders:

Leverage advanced AI to send automated reminders, minimizing costly no-shows and improving appointment adherence.

Telemedicine and Telepsychiatry:

Extend your practice’s reach through HIPAA-compliant telemedicine capabilities and specialized telepsychiatry software.

Group Video and Scheduling:

Enable seamless group sessions through secure, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing and scheduling features.

Virtual Waiting Room Experience:

Enhance patient engagement with a personalized virtual waiting room that delivers essential updates and information.

Elevating Your Practice with Automated Patient Payment Collections

In the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, automating patient payment collections is more than just a convenience—it’s a strategic imperative. The shift from manual billing to automated systems offers multifaceted advantages, from reducing administrative burdens and enhancing patient privacy to improving transparency and motivating timely payments. By implementing an integrated healthcare management system that encompasses automated patient payment collections, practices can not only save time and money but also deliver a modern, patient-centric experience that sets them apart in today’s competitive healthcare market.

Unlock the power of automated patient payment collections today and pave the way for a more efficient, patient-focused practice. Contact us to schedule a free demonstration and explore how automated patient payment collections can revolutionize your practice’s financial management.

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I’m a multi-certified revenue cycle management professional and compliance officer with 20+ years of experience. I contribute articles to leading healthcare publications and journals. I am currently working as Senior Transition Manager, in BillingParadise headquartered at Diamond Bar, California. BillingParadise offers Medical Billing Services that intersect perfectly with the EMR/Practice management system you use.BillingParadise has offices in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, and Texas.

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