Case Study: American Health Network Cuts Costs with Integrated Payments

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We chose InstaMed because we needed a robust tool that would automate our patient payment processes and work with our existing NextGen® system. With InstaMed, we have automated payment plans for thousands of patients and enabled patients to use the self-service NextGen EDI Payment Portal to pay their bills online, at their convenience. To simplify posting and reconciliation, we use the InstaMed End of Day Posting File to automatically post payments directly into our NextGen® system. By automating our patient payment processes with InstaMed, we are saving 70 hours of administrative work per week! In addition, with InstaMed’s reporting tools, we have complete visibility into the payment details across all of our practices.

- Barb Hockman, Cash Applications Manager, American Health Network

OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN HEALTH NETWORK

American Health Network (AHN) is Indiana’s largest physician-owned group practice with over 70 offices and more than 200 primary care physicians and specialists in Indiana and Ohio. The organization is driven with the visionary purpose of providing high-quality, cost-effective care, supported by a robust electronic infrastructure in our quest to provide exceptional care to its patients.

OVERVIEW OF THE BUSINESS PROBLEM

AHN needed more automation and efficiency in its processes to collect, post and reconcile patient payments.

SOLUTION

InstaMed integrated with NextGen® Healthcare, AHN’s practice management system, to enable AHN to streamline its patient payment processes while managing all information on the same system.

BUSINESS RESULTS

  • Saving 70 hours of administrative work per week on patient payment processes
  • Gained transparency into all payment details with robust reporting tools
  • Offering patients more convenient payment options

AMERICAN HEALTH NETWORK’S STORY:

Payment Plans Causing an Administrative Burden

For patients with high deductibles, AHN would set up payment plans to enable them to pay their bills over a period of time. However, the group’s method of setting up payment plans was manual, requiring staff to manage payment schedules using a Microsoft® Excel spreadsheet and call patients to collect each month.

“This was a big issue with our company,” said Barb Hockman, Cash Applications Manager for AHN. “The way we were trying to keep track of the payment plans was so antiquated. We knew we needed efficiency with our patient payments.”

Inefficient Payment Posting

At the end of each day, AHN staff had to create a file with the payment information collected for each of its 70 practices, and then upload each file individually into NextGen® Practice Management, a process that often took a couple of hours each day.

“We needed more automation in our processes,” said Barb. “We started looking for a more robust tool that would work with our NextGen® system.”

SOLUTION

Managing Payments on One System

AHN chose InstaMed because of its integration with NextGen Healthcare, enabling the group to automate many of its processes to save time and cut administrative costs. Since AHN has over 70 practices in various locations, InstaMed’s user-friendly system made the transition and training simple.

“Because InstaMed is so easy to understand, I was able to do quick step-by-step trainings with practices over the phone,” said Barb. “It was really easy for the practices to learn.”

Automating Thousands of Patient Payment Plans

With InstaMed, AHN streamlined payment plans by saving patient payment cards securely on file to automatically collect the payments when they are due. This process enables AHN to ease the financial burden on its patients as well as the administrative burden on its staff.

Result: By automating payment plans for thousands of patients, AHN is saving approximately 60 hours of administrative work per week.

Offering the Convenience of Online Payments

To further automate payments, AHN offers patients the option of paying their bills online. Today, patients receive statements that display a URL for the NextGen® EDI Payment Portal, where patients can go online and pay anytime. Practices also use the EDI Payment Portal to collect copays prior to a patient visit, which simplifies the patient check-in process and ensures payment for the practices.

“We knew we wanted an online portal where patients could go to pay their bills quickly without having to create an account first,” said Barb. “InstaMed allows us to offer this convenience to our patients.”

Additionally, patients can choose to create an account in the EDI Payment Portal to receive paperless eStatements, store payment information and view payment history.

Simplifying Posting and Reconciliation

With InstaMed, AHN no longer needs to manually post payments for each practice separately. With InstaMed’s End of Day Posting File, AHN uploads payments for all practices at the same time to post directly into NextGen Practice Management, simplifying the reconciliation process.

Result: By automating payment posting, AHN is saving approximately 70 hours of administrative work per week.

Reporting

In addition to robust payment capabilities, InstaMed enables AHN staff to run activity summary reports to view and download payment details across all of its practices so it has complete visibility into all payment activity.