Unpaid patient accounts cripple a healthcare organization’s bottom line. To improve their financial situation, providers often turn to third-party agencies to realize specific benefits. In an outsourcing relationship with a healthcare provider, healthcare collection agencies must ensure they deliver real value, including:
- Saving the provider money – In many cases, a third-party agency saves healthcare providers money. Outsourcing eliminates costs associated with patient bill processing, including statement mailing. In addition, proven processes can accelerate collections and enhance cash flow. They also are well-positioned to maintain patient contact information and ensure billing statements get delivered to the right place.
- Improving patient satisfaction – If you keep patients happy, they’re more likely to pay their bills. Satisfaction stems from creating easy-to-read, patient-friendly billing statements. By adopting ways to keep patients content, agencies help healthcare providers prevent patient attrition.
- Understanding patient payment behaviour – Accomplished collection agencies offer administrative portals that provide visibility into the collection process. Healthcare organizations receive activity reports on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. These reports identify the status of incoming payments and outgoing statements. Providing this information allows healthcare providers to recognize and respond to trends.
- Allowing providers to assign resources to other projects – Instead of performing the administrative work involved in collections, healthcare providers can instead focus on providing quality healthcare to their patients. Internal staff works on more strategic projects.
- Offering multiple payment options for patients – A multitude of payment options exist today. Patients can pay at the point of service or through other channels the healthcare provider has established. Once an account is transferred to collections, experienced agencies can take payments over the phone with an agent, through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) application, via an online payment portal or by traditional snail-mail. Patients pay in the manner most comfortable for them.
- Digitizing the billing process – Rather than send out paper statements, many healthcare providers prefer to send a digital copy. Digital billing saves time and money. However, transitioning to a digital system can be challenging. Instead, providers work with collection agencies that already have this capability and can comply with HIPAA regulations.
Outsourcing collections helps healthcare providers in a number of strategic ways. A collection agency saves the provider money, improves patient satisfaction, provides insight into patient payment behaviour, allows a provider’s staff to focus on other projects, creates multiple payment options, and easily transitions the provider to a digital billing system. All of these benefits lead to an improved financial situation for healthcare providers.