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Maximize patient collections in healthcare with technology

Published: October 31, 2023 by Experian Health

maximize-patient-collections-in-healthcare-with-technology

A recent byline by Clarissa Riggins, Chief Product Officer at Experian Health, points to how physician practices, hospitals, and health systems can address the challenge of patient collections. Data from an Experian Health survey revealed that 72% of patients emphasized the need for online or mobile payments to enhance their health experience. Riggins notes that improving such payments can be the first step to maximizing patient collections in healthcare and encourages IVR, mobile, kiosk, and online portals as essential methods to promote timely payments during the patient collections process.

It’s more than just a lack of mobile options holding healthcare providers back. Riggins notes the surveys show that 40% of patients would delay or cancel their next appointment if they needed clearer insight into what the procedure would cost. These two critical barriers to payment are adding to healthcare’s collections conundrum. The imperative is to redesign the patient financial experience by leveraging technologies to improve payment access while providing patients with a clear financial picture of their responsibilities at each step of the encounter.

From a provider perspective, the need to fix these issues is critical; healthcare organizations only collect one-third of patient balances greater than $200. Even with insurance, patient financial assistance is limited in many cases — the average patient’s responsibility for payment of a healthcare claim is at an all-time high. Part of the problem for healthcare providers is that their systems are geared more toward traditional collections from government or private payers. For healthcare providers to increase their volume of collected revenues from patients, they must invest in technologies to provide consumers with a seamless payment experience. Riggins suggests the goal of healthcare providers is simple: Use technology to put their traditional collections department out of business.

Using automated technology to improve collections

Healthcare organizations need a way to streamline upfront patient registration and payment processes, but they also need tools to determine the patients most able to handle their self-pay responsibilities. They must make it easier for patients to pay and increase the transparency and accuracy of their billing statements. Today, providers are maximizing patient collections in healthcare by easing these collection burdens with technology that makes paying easier for the patient and their provider.

Improving the patient financial experience was at the heart of a recent University of California San Diego Health (UCSDH) technology initiative. This organization used Experian Health’s Collections Optimization Manager and Coverage Discovery®software solutions to tackle collections from both sides of the payment fence. Collections Optimization Manager benefited UCSDH by increasing collections from $6 million to more than $21 million in two years. However, patients also benefited from software geared toward maximizing their insurance reimbursement to lessen their financial burden.

Collections Optimization Manager uses in-depth data and advanced analytics so providers can focus limited staff resources where they make the most sense — on the patients able to pay. The tool automates processes so the team can spend time working on patient financial solutions instead of the software.

Coverage Discovery seeks options for patient payment that may have been missed, maximizing insurance reimbursement and lessening the burden on the collections team. It is the only comprehensive coverage identification software on the market today.

Personalizing payment plans for every individual

These tools are revolutionizing patient collections. But they’re only part of the Experian Health arsenal to improve the lives of patients and providers. For example, Patient Financial Clearance is a tool designed to look at each patient’s financial situation and create an appropriate personalized payment path that fits their needs.

This software is particularly important; up to 14.2 million people lost Medicaid coverage this year. Patient Financial Clearance software can help identify which patients might still be eligible for Medicaid. It screens self-pay patients to identify those who need extra support and reroutes them to the proper channels. Patient Financial Clearance is a critical piece of a patient financial assistance solution designed to determine which patients are at risk of nonpayment and provide additional support at or before the point of care delivery. Providers can design personalized payment plans that make sense for each person they treat.

From the patient’s perspective, these tools offer much-needed transparency and personalized support, which can be lacking in healthcare. Automated patient responsibility statements, for example, can set the stage upfront for a seamless collections process later. For patients seeking convenience, Experian Health also offers Patient Financial Advisor, which can help patients make payments right from their mobile devices or another preferred payment method.

Together, these tools offer healthcare providers and patients clear benefits that improve healthcare by streamlining how patients pay—and how providers get paid.

Maximize patient collections with Experian Health

Healthcare providers have unique needs when it comes to collecting from patients. Experian Health’s solutions are designed specifically for healthcare providers and provide a suite of secure, reliable and compliant payment solutions that integrate easily with existing systems and processes. Contact us today to learn more about maximizing patient collections and minimizing issues in healthcare with our innovative tools.

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