At the beginning of every year, health plan deductibles reset and patients are required to meet their out-of-pocket limit for healthcare services before their insurance benefits begin. With high deductible health plans expected to increase by 8% to $6,480 for a family plan in 2016 (HealthPocket.com), it is crucial that providers understand how to maximize the collection of patient payment responsibility.
This month, we outline three best practices to help providers of all sizes make 2016 the year of collecting more patient payments.
1. Collect More With Online Payments
93% of consumers surveyed in 2014 want to pay their healthcare bills online (2014 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report). Forward-thinking providers accommodate their patients’ expectations by allowing their patients to make online payments, set up a digital wallet and sign up for eStatements. These providers benefit with decreased processing costs, fewer patient phone calls and having payments deposited directly into their bank accounts. The greatest benefit is that online payments help providers collect more, as patients are more likely to make payments when the process is simple and convenient.
2. Collect More by Saving a Payment Method On File
According to McKinsey and Company, providers can expect to collect only 50-70 percent of an insured patient’s balance after he or she is treated. To beat this trend, providers can require patients to supply a method of payment to be saved on file for future payment collections. Providers can leverage tokenization technology to securely store the payment method and automate the collection process after a claim is adjudicated. This eliminates the need for administrative staff to follow up with patients for payment on outstanding balances and can improve collections by as much as 124%.
3. Collect Larger Balances With Payment Plans
While payment plans can help ease the payment burden on patients, they can add to providers’ administrative work if relying on manual and paper-based processes. The best approach is to customize payment plans that can be incorporated into your existing workflow. Automate the process by securing a patient’s method of payment to set up recurring payments. This way, providers can collect larger balances, as well as reduce processing costs and improve efficiency with automated posting and reconciliation and automated delivery of payment notification receipts to staff and patients. Providers who offer automated payment plans reduce the time and costs to collect by 65%.
Keep an eye out for our Collection Best Practices Guide, coming next month!