Ways to improve the payment experience for your clients

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
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Strategic process changes can help healthcare organizations increase patient payments

Patient payments are the most important aspect of generating revenue for a healthcare practice. As the healthcare industry is becoming more reliant on payments coming from patients rather than insurers, it has become increasingly important to develop effective methods for managing an ideal patient payment system. Whilst different healthcare businesses will have their own preferences when it comes to the payment experience, we believe that there are specific strategic processes that will help increase patient payments and stabilize your business. With these strategies, you can accept online payments to get paid faster, maximize the transparency of the payment process, improve effective communication and guarantee an overall positive healthcare experience for all of your clients. To experience these advantages, your business must embrace a patient-centric model of payment processes, which we will explain in more depth throughout this article. 

Case study: Payment processing for therapy patients

Improving the payment system for your healthcare business is centered around patients, so it is necessary to have an insight into their experience. Typically, a therapy patient will schedule and attend an appointment, whereupon they will either pay for the services at the time of the session or a later date, depending on insurance coverage and the policies of the therapy business. Two of the most important factors for patients are that they have some degree of transparency and flexibility in these situations. Improving transparency is all about your communication. Your patients should be aware of the cost of the services they receive, and when they are expected to make their payments. This type of information can be awkward to convey, but we cannot overstate just how important transparency and good communication is!

Furthermore, flexibility can be improved by including online credit card payment options that are processed through a secure site. Offering the option to pay for services online simplifies the patient experience and encourages timely payments. Patients can remain within the comfort of their own homes whilst still staying on top of their bills. As a therapist, it can be easy to forget that patients are busy people who often have a lot on their plate. Understanding this, and adapting your processes to suit the needs of patients is ultimately the most effective way to get clients to pay on time. 

Therapy software

Look for ways to ensure optimum efficiency and accuracy

As I’m sure you know, medical billing is an extremely complex process. For your healthcare business to successfully navigate this system and generate enough revenue, your internal processes need to be both efficient and accurate. So how exactly can you overcome payment processing challenges and achieve this?

Track pending accounts receivable

Having an understanding of the payments that haven’t been fully processed (and are outstanding) for your business will provide insight into how efficient your payment systems are. By tracking and comparing your pending accounts receivables, you will be able to determine whether or not there are areas within your internal payment systems that require improvement. 

Stay informed

The regulations that dictate medical billing frequently change, and ensuring you stay updated with these variations will help to guarantee both efficiency and accuracy. Implementing regular training programs for staff members is a good solution to staying educated and on top of these changing regulations.

Identify problem accounts

Utilizing effective software can provide your business with data on patient payments. This information should identify whether you have “problem” accounts, including late payments and declined payments. Based on this data, you can form strategies aimed at targeting these problem accounts, like generating automated payment reminders and personalized plans. 

Ways to enhance payment experience for patients

Understanding why utilizing patient-centric models for processing payments is the first step to improving your billing system. The second step is unpacking some of the specific ways in which you can do this. Doing both will allow you to improve patient collection and cashflow for your practice, which is immensely beneficial. Although each practice will have its business preferences, we’ve compiled some of the most common (and successful) methods for improving the payment experience for clients. 

Automate for healthcare billing efficiency

Advances in technology have led to significant changes in how payments are processed. As these developments increase in sophistication, we are seeing more and more processes being automated. Automating small tasks like payment reminders and claims filing will help save time for both patients and staff. 

Stick to a collections policy

Having a clear and reliable collections policy is a necessity for every healthcare business. Without one, following up on late payments and fixing denied or rejected claims becomes extremely complicated, and can be difficult for patients to navigate. Setting out a clear outline of a collections policy that all staff is aware of will help ensure the payment process is as transparent as possible and patients aren’t left in the dark. 

Keep up-to-date on patient information

A seemingly obvious, yet often overlooked aspect of managing payments is ensuring that your patient details are updated. Every time a patient comes into the clinic, they should be asked whether they have any updated personal information. Staying on top of these changes will make the payment process smoother whilst simultaneously showing patients that you are organized and prepared.

Track denials to identify problem areas

We mentioned earlier that identifying problem areas is the best way to identify areas of improvement, and this is especially the case for claim denials. As soon as a claim is denied, your business should have specific protocols in place that allow you to not only fix the errors and resubmit the claim, but also produce data on what type of error occurred. This data will be indicative of frequently occurring claim errors, which you can consequently minimize.

Adopt a billing software

We understand that introducing new software into your practice can be daunting, but it cannot be overstated how significantly these systems improve business processes. With the right billing software, your business will maximize its efficiency and productivity, ensuring that you get paid faster and the payment process is simplified for patients. 

Offer flexible payment options to meet patients’ needs

Unsurprisingly, different patients will have their own preferred methods of making payments and it is an extremely good idea to cater to these. You should integrate an online payment portal into your website, whilst also offering over-the-phone and in-person options. Providing these different options indicates your awareness of patients who have different needs, helping them to feel more comfortable during the payment process. 

Maintain payment consistency across the entire health system

The medical billing system is complicated, and when patients are expected to pay for services in a variety of ways across different healthcare practices, it can leave them confused and frustrated. A consistent payment structure across the entire system will lead to streamlined processes.

Trust Carepatron's billing software to improve patient payment experience

One of the biggest decisions you will have to make when changing to a patient-centric model of payment processes is concerning medical billing software. We mentioned previously that introducing billing software is a fantastic way to increase productivity and efficiency whilst simultaneously elevating effective communication with patients. Carepatron offers a highly sophisticated billing system that can help your business streamline various processes, saving you significant amounts of time and money. Carepatron’s medical billing software is integrated with a variety of features, including online payment options, automatic reminders, and data analysis tools. Utilizing this type of technology will maximize the efficiency of your payment process and improve patient relationships.

Improve how you support your patients with Carepatron. Get started for free today!

billing software

Further Reading:

4 Key Ways to Improve Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management

Improving The Healthcare Revenue Cycle With AI And RPA

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