Rethinking Your Approach to Patient Billing
In the latest episode of Payment Matters, I was joined by Andrew Kouba, CFO of Abilene Diagnostic Clinic (ADC). ADC is a multispecialty physician group located in Abilene, Texas. Andrew joined the ADC team in May of 2016 and recognized several challenges the organization was facing due to increasing patient payment responsibility and the new role of the consumer in healthcare.
We take a closer look at how ADC enhanced the patient billing process to drive online payments and increase overall patient satisfaction. Here are two key highlights from the episode:
Why Send Four Statements When You Can Send One?
As patient payment responsibility continued to increase, ADC looked to improve their collection processes. ADC was relying on a mostly paper-based process, so staff spent a lot of time mailing out statements, and manually posting and reconciling paper checks from patients. Additionally, ADC was working with multiple vendors and did not have one consolidated platform where staff could maintain all patient statements and billing information, which created more inefficiencies in their patient payment workflow.
There were also negatives with the statements ADC was mailing out to patients. They were poorly designed, difficult to understand and didn’t offer patients many options to pay. Abilene also sent out bills for each individual encounter a patient had over the course of one healthcare visit. For example, a patient would visit the clinic for lower back pain. The patient would see an internal medicine provider, then a physical rehabilitation provider, a radiologist for an x-ray, then head over to the physical therapist for an evaluation. All of these encounters occurred during one healthcare visit, but the patient would receive individual bills for each encounter. As a result, patients were overwhelmed with paper and confused about what they owed.
With the InstaMed One Bill solution, ADC was able to simplify the patient billing experience by presenting all patient balances in a single, consolidated statement. Healthcare visits that used to result in multiple mailed statements to a patient now only required one consolidated statement. These statements made it easier for patients to understand what they owed and how to pay. ADC was also able to send out fewer mailed statements, reducing the time and costs to collect.
Put the Consumer Experience First
As the healthcare landscape continues to shift to a more consumer-centric approach, it is important for healthcare providers and payers to meet the needs and preferences of their consumers. To do this, ADC offered an online patient portal where patients can go to pay and manage their healthcare bills. The new statements ADC was delivering to their patients were designed to drive patients to pay online. The URL for ADC’s patient portal was clearly displayed so patients could easily see where to go to make a payment quickly and conveniently.
The new statements and online payment option offered patients clarity and understanding of their payment responsibility. With the patient portal, patients feel they have more control and ownership over their healthcare bills, which ultimately leads to higher levels of trust and satisfaction with their overall experience at ADC.
This article was originally published on InstaMed and is republished here with permission.