Facilitating Patient Payments – The Role of Healthcare IVR Systems
With increasing numbers of healthcare providers struggling to elicit payments from patients who have already received services and treatment, a change in the systems used for payment by medical practices is long overdue. Unfortunately, many organizations are still behind the times and are adhering to traditional forms of billing and payment rather than moving into the 21st century with modern and technologically advanced systems. Yet, evidence has shown that adopting a healthcare IVR or online system is one of the best ways to guarantee timely payments from patients across both large and small healthcare settings.
Payment Problems Faced by Healthcare Providers
At one time, the majority of the cost of treatment was covered by the patient’s medical insurance cover. These days, however, there has been a distinct shift toward higher co-pays and higher deductibles. This has led to increasing numbers of people struggling to meet their payment obligations after receiving surgery or medical treatment.
Because very few people make provisions to pay for expensive medical bills, problems arise when they become unexpectedly ill and require medical care. Faced with confusing and high bills, often from many different practitioners and service providers, it can rapidly become overwhelming and this can lead to nonpayment of bills.
While this is all very understandable, it is not a solution for healthcare providers themselves, who need to have regular revenue coming in to pay their own bills and to stay afloat.
It seems clear that putting an efficient healthcare payment system in place through which payments can be more easily collected is essential in order to resolve some of the issues facing medical practices today.
The Value of a Healthcare IVR System
If a healthcare practice is relying solely on the paper check or cash payments, it is unsurprising that it finds it increasingly difficult to receive payments on time. These outdated systems have now been supplanted in favor of more efficient automated options. These give patients greater flexibility over their payment methods and the times at which they pay.
A healthcare IVR system is a hosted agentless telephone system that is available for patients to use at a time of their own choosing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This payment solution enables callers to interact with a fully automated system in order to make a credit, debit or ACH payment from their home phone or cell phone.
Able to be accessed through a convenient toll-free number or even routed from the practice’s existing phone system, an IVR gateway presents callers with either a custom-recorded call flow and script for excellent brand continuity, or a prerecorded one designed for maximum speed and optimal usability. Patients can then easily make an IVR payment through touch-tone prompts and validation of their account data.
The Benefits Of IVR
By offering this type of convenient and automated payment system, healthcare providers free themselves up to spend time on more relevant and important tasks rather than having to manually handle payment processing and chasing nonpaying patients. The added convenience for patients is the ability to use their preferred payment method at a time and place that fits with their schedule. By offering this facility, it becomes much simpler for patients to meet their payment obligations, thus increasing the amount of revenue received by practices and improving cash flow exponentially.
Another advantage of the healthcare IVR system is that its automated nature naturally minimizes the risk of human error. And because all payments are verified immediately, it ensures that practices are able to access cleared funds immediately upon payment.
Since an IVR system eliminates the need for manual processes by automating payment cycles, it becomes much easier to deal with patient payments in a timely manner without having to expend excessive time and effort, and when patients with large outstanding balances are able to set up a payment plan to meet their needs, the chances of receiving regular payments are greatly increased.
Security, Performance, and Compliance Guaranteed
Of course, when adopting any payment method, it is vital that healthcare providers choose an option that is fully secured and compliant with all relevant regulations. BillingTree offers a fully PCI-, SSAE-16-, and HIPAA-certified solution for medical practices of all sizes that meets all compliance requirements for the peace of mind of both the provider and the patient.
BillingTree’s payment solutions are also able to be fully integrated with their healthcare IVR system. And, since they have been implemented successfully thousands of times, users can enjoy the many benefits that the system can bring to all parties.
By choosing BillingTree’s payment services that have been specially tailored for the needs of healthcare organizations and putting in place a healthcare IVR system that allows for convenient automated payments, medical practices will enjoy all the advantages of better cash flow and more efficient processing.