Healthcare facilities need to simplify the payment process for their patients who receive care, for the purposes of both patient care and employee morale. This is especially true at a time when the patient responsibility portions of medical bills are increasing, putting a strain on patient finances. A Kaiser Foundation Family report found that patient out-of-pocket costs increased almost 230% from 2006 to 2015.
It hasn’t gotten any better in the proceeding 6 years, either. There is clearly an acute need to ease the burden of out-of-pocket payments, in terms of both payment options and ease of payment.
The following are just a few simple ways for healthcare facilities to utilize modern technology and streamline the payment process for patients and staff.
Utilizing Secure Online Payment Portals
As modern commerce increasingly shifts to the internet, it would be wise for healthcare providers to do the same. This is why an online payment portal for patient out-of-pocket costs is essential. The online payment platform should be a central hub where patients can view their balances and make payments.
Also essential is that these payment portals are secure and HIPAA-compliant. Providers need to be able to protect the personal and financial data of their care-receiving staff.
Allowing Multiple Methods of Payment
Collection of out-of-pocket costs from staff is also easier when the provider makes multiple methods of payment available. While acceptance of cash and check will remain an option, digital methods of payment are becoming the new norm.
The online payment portals mentioned above are an obvious solution here. However, providers can go beyond this and expand into the realm of mobile payments. Emails and text messages can be an effective method of sending payment reminders, as well as for patients to directly make payments.
Offer Financing and Automated Payments
With the difficulty of paying off high patient responsibility balances, payment plans are often a necessity. One challenge of this approach is the need to make recurring payments since that is one more burden for a patient who runs the risk of missing a payment. For that reason, automated payments can remove that burden for the patient. Scheduled payments that are made automatically will also help the provider by decreasing paperwork, lessening the burden on the revenue team, and speeding up payment.
Providers are always seeking to provide quality care while maintaining their collections. This makes it even more important to simplify the process for satisfying the patient responsibility portions of medical bills. When modern technology is implemented to smooth the payment process, a healthcare facility is boosting its staff’s mental state and financial wellbeing, along with their health.
To see how BillingTree can streamline the payment process for your patients and staff, request a demo today.