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The best strategy for attacking patient payment challenges in 2017: What you can learn from fighting winter colds

learning-from-common-cold-to-attack-patient-payment-challengesIt’s that time of year, and you’ve woken up with a sore throat, cough and headache. You know this week’s going to be busy and crawling back into bed isn’t an option. Your choices are to:

a) Forego your usual coffee for tea with honey
b) Take Advil and cold medicine
c) Take some vitamin C
d) Plan to get some rest on your lunch hour (and go to bed early, too)
e) All of the above

If you chose “e,” you know several solutions working together will generally have a much greater impact. As you plan for 2017, consider these facts to help inform your patient payment strategy this year:

  • Now that their financial responsibilities are generally much higher than a $10 or $20 co-payment due to increased deductibles and co-insurance amounts, patients want an accurate payment estimate at time of service
  • Collecting higher patient balances requires greater staff resources—unless organizations leverage payment assurance and collection tools
  • Offering patients more than one payment option increases your opportunities to guarantee payment and collect in full. Options such as scheduled payment plans, eStatements and online bill pay will benefit patients and your bottom line.
  • Analytics, automatically captured and easily presented, can give you a greater understanding of your patient payment strengths and weaknesses so you know where to focus improvement efforts.

You wouldn’t try to heal a cold by just drinking hot tea! Similarly, you can overcome 2017’s patient payment challenges with several improvements that work together for maximum benefit. To learn more, read a recent article I wrote: Optimizing Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management in 2017 featured in Health IT Leaders & News.