Focusing on Patient Payment Optimization…

1 . Patient payments are growing due to the increasing popularity of HDHPs.
2 . Rising healthcare costs are passed directly to patients, consumers, and employees.
3 . As healthcare grows more expensive, HDHPs have become a popular way to keep monthly insurance costs stable.
4 . The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased the number of newly insured patients, a population that has largely embraced HDHPs.

Read Previous Article: Practical considerations for optimizing patient payment processes and performance
Patient Payment Optimization Methodology

There are four steps to consider as part of a comprehensive payment optimization plan:

1. Evaluate the current situation: Where are we now?
2. Set clear goals: Where do we want to be?
3. Assess the value of change: Why are we changing, or where is the inertia for change?
4. Establish key initiatives: How are we going to get to where we want to go? Each stage of the optimization plan can then be divided into three levels: payments, processes and performance.

Payments: Optimize the use of all payment types—including the introduction of payments made via the Web, at the point of sale (POS) and via mobile platforms—that are faster and cheaper for patients than mailing payments. You may also want to consider offering ACH payments instead of credit card payments. Successful organizations should strive for comprehensive goals, such as making all payment outlets, payment types and tender types available at any time for any account, including one-time or recurring payments, payment plans and patient financing.

Processes: Process optimization includes two key steps: First, integrating systems (including patient accounting modules, image archiving solutions and patient portal applications), and second, workflow optimization of posting, reconciliation, compliance, reporting and analysis.

Performance: How do payment processes impact financial performance, cost savings and operational efficiencies? What is the value of change and the return on investment (ROI)? How have improved payment processes impacted business plans and strategic initiatives?