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Collection Strategies to Address Rising Patient Payments

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Things you pay for at time of service.It’s no surprise to practice managers that patient payment responsibility is on the rise, but did you know the average per-person deductible for health insurance has increased 117 percent in the past 10 years – climbing from $518 to $1,123?

This additional $605 per patient can be challenging to collect for many reasons, particularly since many practices are accustomed to collecting only the co-pay at time of service. Further, they then have to bill the remainder of the fee after insurance pays the claim. With more than 23 percent of revenue now coming from patients, practices must introduce tools and processes to collect earlier, set expectations and ensure patients pay their balance in full.

A new collections strategy requires new processes – ones that educate patients about their financial responsibility as early as possible, preferably at pre-service. Many practices are incorporating this step into a pre-appointment phone call reminder, which allows staff to bring up the patient’s estimated bill and mention any financial policy changes. At the time of service, staff can ask patients to sign the estimate and provide a credit card that will be securely-stored and only charged up to that amount once the patients financial responsibility is known. Because these processes can be very different from the status quo – and require everyone, including front office staff, to be on board – thorough training is needed.

Technology can serve as a catalyst for your new collections strategy by fulfilling two key objectives. First, it can automate time-consuming manual functions such as generating estimates – also giving staff more confidence and credibility during financial discussions with patients. Second, it can give patients the consumer-friendly options they want, such as knowing the cost up-front as well as, flexible payment plans, online bill pay and no longer having to receive confusing statements.

To learn more, click here to watch a two-minute video about Navicure® Payments™, a new patient payment platform that allows providers to generate estimates and facilitate faster, easier patient payment. You can also learn more about Navicure Payments by reaching out to your Navicure Client Solutions representative at solutions@navicure.com, or 678-221-0682.

About the Author: Amanda Brown is the director of revenue cycle solutions at Navicure

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