The healthcare industry is notoriously behind the times in terms of communication and bill collection. In the age of technology, one would think that providers would be one of the very first to use electronic bill payment and presentment — but this hasn’t been the case.
In fact, a survey of over 900 healthcare executives found that almost 100% said that they currently utilize some form of paper-based medical billing and patient collections — even though more than half prefer to receive their bills electronically. The implementation of electronic billing can greatly increase patient collection rates, as well as satisfaction on both the provider and patients’ sides.
Boosting Patient Collections
Currently, paper bills are causing patient collection rates to remain at sub-optimal rates. The rapid advancement of technology has left them as a standout in an otherwise technology-savvy world — and not in a good way. Younger generations have grown up with paying for a majority of products and services online, so when they receive a paper bill it is seen as an inconvenience.
With the implementation of electronic medical billing comes the opportunity to increase collection rates. The same survey that found a majority of patients prefer electronic billing also surfaced that patients are more likely to pay their medical bills if presented with an online option.
A doctor that put electronic billing in place saw great results from the very beginning. According to this article, “in the first month [of implementation], the practice got almost 40 percent of the [accounts receivable] that was sitting there from about two years ago.”
Utilizing electronic billing also eliminates the cost of sending out paper statements. An increase in collection rates and a decrease in expenses related to paper statements results in a much improved bottom line.
Along with boosted patient collections comes an increase in satisfaction. As stated earlier, patients prefer electronic means of bill payments. The convenience it offers creates a much better experience and ease of use. The patient can just press a button to submit payment rather than filling out paperwork.
Improved satisfaction also comes on the side of the provider. Staff no longer needs to track down paper bills and file them away, all with the chance of misplacement. With electronic billing, records are all stored in a consolidated database and easily accessible. The secure manner in which a payment is collected also gives peace of mind to both the patient and provider that information is safe.
The healthcare industry is slow to adopt electronic billing, but once it becomes an expectation, those that haven’t implemented will get left behind.
Want to see what a quality electronic bill payment and presentment platform looks like? Contact us today for a free demo and you could be on your way to increasing collections and decreasing frustrations due to paper billing.