HealthCareDive reports on a Connance survey revealing that 70% of providers claim it takes more than a month to collect from patients, and a 2017 Advisory Board analysis found that the average 350-bed hospital lost up to $22 million in revenue due to revenue cycle issues.
The “Deep Dive”:
- Providers are increasingly turning to payment technologies to collect patient bills and improve the customer experience, a new Billing Tree survey finds.
- Respondents ranked “collecting once the patient has left the facility” as the No. 1 payment challenge in 2018, followed by “patient’s inability to pay” and “lack of payment channels.” Rounding out the top six were “disputes over amount billed,” “knowing the correct amount to bill/due after insurance” and “compliance challenges.” The least important challenge was “posting to the database.”
- The top two factors affecting choice of payment processing services were HIPAA compliance and the price of payment processing. Half of the respondents were collection firms, one-fifth were long-term care facilities and the rest were multi- and single-site businesses.
Deeper into the survey results:
Survey respondents showed a willingness to accept a wide range of payment types. More than nine in 10 accepted health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts, 82% accepted paper checks or money orders and about 73% accepted credit/debit payments and electronic checks.
The survey also shows growing use of automation, with nearly two-thirds reporting acceptance of web portal payments. In addition, 27% offered payment by an interactive voice response system and the same percentage offered payment by text.
Asked what payment technology they would most likely add in the next 12 months, more than half (54.5%) said web payments. Not surprising given the growth in text payments, more than a quarter planned to deploy text notifications for payments and billing notifications.
Clearly, healthcare providers are turning towards automation and technologies to help confront payment issues. As an interesting side note, 82% of the respondents accept paper checks or money orders, which stressed the need for electronification of paper payments to streamline the process.
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