Healthcare is not free. So why do patients think it is?

Posted by Dawn Lunde on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 @ 04:14 PM

Depositphotos 24208221 originalAccording to a TransUnion 2011 survey about patient collections, it is clear the healthcare industry remains weak in obtaining revenue at the point-of-service (POS):

  • Seven out of 10 respondents said their hospital or health system collected less than 30 percent of their payments at the point of service. Nearly half (44%) of respondents said less than 15% of payments were collected prior to service.
  • Of payments that go to the back-end for collections, eight in 10 respondents said less than 60% of payments were made. In fact, nearly one-quarter of those polled said recover rates were between 0 and 15%!

There are two big reasons for this:


  1. Hospitals and clinics do not always ask for payment at POS.
  2. Patients are far less likely to pay 30+ days after the date of service.

According to the Healthcare Financial Management Association, a five-hospital system in Washington has boosted revenue by over $1 million per year by implementing new point-of-service (POS) collection tactics. The two key components to this are: managing expectations with patients and a properly trained staff. 

Pre-visit planning can have numerous benefits, including a lower no-show rate and robust POS collections – both hit your bottom line with increased revenue! This process can be elaborate or very simple. Click here for ideas. 

Having the tools in place to process payments at all points-of-entry are critical. Furthermore, consider a policy and a process to collect what you can from the patient at check-in and arrange for secure card-on-file and/or automated payment plan to obtain the remainder of the balance.

Ensuring your entire staff is engaged with the collection process will allow your organization to continue to carry out your mission of providing patient care.

Get Tips On Provider & Employee Engagement in Patient Collections!

Tags: Patient Payments, healthcare revenue management, patient pay, point of sale patient payments, healthcare payment

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