Is Healthcare Evolving as Fast as Other Industries?August 17, 2016
According to the 2015 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report of patients surveyed, 75% said they would like to pay their healthcare bills online. While 64% of consumers reported an interest in using a mobile payment system. And although many believe paper check use is dying, they still make up a majority of the payments healthcare providers process. As technology evolves, new payment channels are emerging for consumers to use; therefore, healthcare organizations should look at best practices used in other industries to identify ways they can offer and effectively manage these channels. Collecting and processing payments from each channel in a separate, siloed manner is not only inefficient, but does not give organizations the accurate or holistic view of their treasury management.
Healthcare providers, integrated delivery networks, billing agencies, and medical lockbox service bureaus are increasingly looking to technology providers to help them consolidate billing and payments channels, enabling them to accomplish more with fewer resources, reduce administrative costs, and improve billing and accounts receivable (AR) collection accuracy. They simply cannot afford to have a large number of full-time employees dedicated to manual billing and payments processing. These labor-intensive processes increase AR lag times, and with the nature of how healthcare providers most often bill – after the service is given – technology must be in place to make this a more efficient and cost-effective task.
It is imperative for automation to be at the core of these solutions to prevent processing costs from continuing to skyrocket. Many providers leveraging all-encompassing solutions through their banks are benefiting from having an automated, end-to-end revenue cycle solution, but there are still many that have not sought out or adopted this approach to managing multiple channels for billing and payments. Be it institutional or professional settings, there is still an overwhelming need for bank-neutral approach focusing on patient statements, patient payments, and streamlining the entire remittance process from start to finish. Consolidating the remittance component will make it easier for hospitals and healthcare organizations to bill customers as well as collect and process the incoming checks, online, and phone payments they receive in one single feed.
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