Breaking Down Patient Payment Barriers: 5 Effective Strategies

patient payment barriers

The most crucial phase in the medical billing process is collecting patient payments. The simpler the process, the more chances to cause any barrier. Payment is the first step in every transaction. You can see its real time examples around you, such as how PayPal and Amazon got their start by providing simple methods to view their payment plans and quick ways to make payments. And you can see how quickly their company expands and establishes itself as a household name.

When we talk about the payment policies of healthcare organizations, it is common for patients to get their invoices six months or even years after their visit. Have you given any attention to why this occurs here?

Encouraging patients to be aware of their financial responsibilities and the ways in which they can pay for them should be a primary focus for your healthcare organization. Additionally, if done correctly, it can help other key concerns including labor productivity, cost control, and employee wellbeing.

In order to prioritize the payment option, you will need to use certain effective strategies that will enable you to overcome any challenges in the way and reduce the likelihood that they will arise. So let’s go over each one in more depth.

STRATEGY #1: Cutting Patient Payment Collection Complexities

A significant challenge to patient payment collections is frequently a lack of knowledge about the complexities involved. Although transparency is important, understanding the underlying complexities of the process is also equally important. To successfully handle these complications, one must understand how they evolve over time and why they occur.

The journey of a patient post-visit plays a pivotal role in the payment collection process. Patients are shown their invoices at the end of this journey, which signals the beginning of possible problems. To solve this issue, it is important to Engage patients consistently throughout their journey and ensure their involvement and understanding.

When analyzing patient payments, it’s imperative to consider the entire continuum of the patient financial experience (PFX), starting with early communication. Healthcare organizations can reduce complexity and streamline the payment collection process by starting early and maintaining transparent communication throughout the patient experience. In the end, this proactive strategy facilitates easier transactions and lowers payment barriers by fostering not just clarity but also collaboration and trust. 

STRATEGY #2: Warding off Authorization-Related Denials

Unexpected costs can significantly undermine patient satisfaction and be a significant challenge for healthcare providers. Patients become dissatisfied and healthcare organizations can lose a significant amount of income when they are faced with unforeseen charges.

Eliminating the communication challenges between patients and healthcare providers that lead to authorization-related rejections is crucial for properly addressing this issue. Healthcare organizations can reduce the chances of permission denials and ensuing revenue losses by taking early measures to resolve possible concerns and maintaining clear communication lines.

Therefore, in order to avoid rejections, healthcare organizations need to give top priority to streamlining authorization processes and improving communication lines. Healthcare providers can prevent authorization-related denials, protect income, and improve patient satisfaction by putting strong authorization policies in place, carrying out thorough checks, and encouraging transparent communication with patients.

STRATEGY #3: Including Patient Financial Experience in Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

As you are aware, businesses are realizing more and more how closely patient financial experience (PFX) and general health are related. However, there are strong commercial reasons to give the patient experience top priority in addition to the humanitarian goal of improving patient care.

Patient satisfaction is a critical factor in determining an individual’s choice of healthcare provider in highly competitive marketplaces. Furthermore, patients are becoming more discerning customers due to their increased knowledge of healthcare expenses brought about by the predominance of high-deductible insurance plans.

Research indicates that a significant proportion of patients (6 out of 10) who encounter inaccurate estimates or unexpected bills express interest in switching providers to seek a better payment experience. Even with the increased focus on patient experience, just 3 percent of finance executives say they are extremely happy with the PFX procedures they now use.

Additionally, competing organization’s priorities like cost control, employee well-being, and the need to reduce administrative burden frequently eclipse patient experience initiatives. This emphasizes how important it is for healthcare institutions to make a determined effort to increase the significance of PFX.

By enhancing important indicators, a strong PFX strategy backed by clever patient payments software can produce noticeable results:

  • Increased Payments and Lower Collection Costs: Organizations can shorten payment cycles and lower total collection costs by promoting enhanced patient involvement through simplified payment procedures.
  • Reduced Staff Burnout and Tailored Financial Journeys: Besides increasing productivity, giving patients self-service payment options and precise estimations also helps to reduce staff burnout. Personalized financial journeys also lead to a better overall patient experience.
  • Increased Security and Efficiency: Process automation and vendor consolidation for Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) improve operational effectiveness and strengthen security measures, protecting confidential patient data.

STRATEGY #4: Automate to Support Patient Financial Experience (PFX) and Manage Costs

Automation software has a game-changing potential for improving labor efficiency, patient payment collections, cost management, and other aspects of the revenue cycle. Healthcare providers can improve patient financial experiences, increase efficiency, and simplify processes by utilizing automation.

Preventing rejections is one important area where automation can have a big influence; according to HealthLeaders Media, this number will rise by 67% in 2022. In this sense, intelligent revenue cycle management (RCM) software is essential since it enables providers to more quickly and thoroughly collect money, strengthening their budget and billing cycles.

Providers can gain a number of advantages by adopting automation systems designed specifically to meet the requirements of healthcare organizations.

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Automation frees up time and resources that can be directed toward strategic goals by streamlining repetitive processes and workflows.
  • Increased Accuracy: By reducing the possibility of human mistakes, automated procedures guarantee more accuracy in the processing of claims, coding, and invoicing.
  • Cost Savings: Automation helps save operating expenses and enhance overall financial performance by minimizing manual involvement and maximizing resource use.
  • Enhanced Patient Experience: Automation speeds up billing cycles and makes payments easier to handle, which improves the financial experience for patients.

STRATEGY #5: Finding a Trustworthy Patient Payment Collection Partner

For healthcare firms, using automation to improve the revenue cycle and offer a better financial experience to patients is a transformative change. Even though the advantages are clear, working with a reliable patient payment-collecting partner is crucial to the success of such programs.

Whether they realize it or not, every patient is affected by the intricate workings of the revenue cycle, which includes processes like denial prevention and prior authorization. As a result, choosing a trustworthy partner is essential as they have a significant impact on both the patient experience and overall operational effectiveness.

Numerous healthcare providers have experienced disappointment when their relationships fall short of their expectations. Rebuilding trust requires a commitment to responsibility and transparency on the side of health systems and their partners.

When considering potential partners for automation initiatives, it’s crucial to prioritize certain characteristics:

  • Honesty: Transparency cannot be compromised. To promote a climate of trust and dependability, partners must be honest about their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Expertise: To ensure the success of the relationship, search for a partners that bring significant knowledge and insights to the table, in addition to partners who only give solutions.
  • Value Alignment: Determine whether the partner agrees with the principles and beliefs of your company. A happy collaboration requires a common dedication to quality and patient-centered care.
  • Teamwork: The secret to a successful implementation is effective teamwork. Partners should specify roles and duties precisely and be accessible at all times during the implementation process, providing assistance and direction as required.
  • Timing: It’s important to have reasonable expectations for the implementation schedule. In order to facilitate effective planning and resource allocation, partners should set clear deadlines and milestones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Patient payment collection in healthcare can be hindered by various factors, including complex billing processes, authorization-related denials, lack of clarity regarding financial responsibility, and inadequate communication between patients and providers.

Healthcare organizations can streamline patient payment collection processes by implementing strategies such as cutting complexities in billing procedures, enhancing communication channels with patients, leveraging automation technologies, and partnering with reliable payment collection partners.

Patient financial experience (PFX) is increasingly recognized as a critical component of healthcare operations. It encompasses the patient’s journey from billing to payment and influences factors such as patient satisfaction, revenue management, and operational efficiency.

Healthcare providers can mitigate authorization-related denials by implementing robust authorization protocols, conducting thorough checks to ensure accurate patient information, and leveraging smart Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) software to streamline billing processes and prevent errors.

Including patient financial experience (PFX) in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) allows healthcare organizations to track and measure the effectiveness of their payment collection strategies. It enables organizations to identify areas for improvement and prioritize initiatives that enhance patient satisfaction and financial outcomes.

Get in Touch

More from the category