Patient payments are continuously increasing in importance to healthcare facilities. The trend is gaining steam, with the Healthcare Financial Management Association reporting that roughly 75 percent of healthcare providers now require payments at the point-of-service, Becker's ASC Review highlighted. More and more leaders in this industry are realizing the importance of collecting patient payments before providing care.
Beyond this effort to capture revenue early on in the process of treating a patient, there are also plenty of advances that make it easier to collect patient pay before and after service. That's why it's critical for all healthcare providers to create an optimal payments experience. There are two major elements in that equation: Your staff and your patient payment solution.
"Your staff drive a patient payment solution's success in many different ways."
The Indispensable Role of Staff
Whether in administrative roles, front-desk jobs or another position, your staff drive a patient payment solution's success in many different ways. One of the most obvious aspects is how their interactions with patients influence payments. Front-desk staff are on the front lines, serving as a vital touch point between your facility as a whole and its many patients. Staff that are well-trained and knowledgeable when it comes to payment options like pre-scheduled payment plans, online self-service payments and others are far more valuable than those who can't easily explain these processes to patients.
Staff need to have enough confidence understanding patient payment systems to not only accurately describe the steps patients take to successfully utilize them but also encourage their use. When your front-desk employees can describe the security, convenience and mutual benefit created by a pre-scheduled payment plan, they can have a very encouraging effect on patients. The same general idea holds true throughout the many patient payment options you may offer, from online self-service payments to card- and bank-account-on-file payments as well.
The Benefits Received in Return
The extra responsibilities your staff have to make a patient payment solution a success are more than balanced out by the efficiencies created by the system. On a facility-wide level, there are clear benefits. Healthcare providers who have partnered with Secure Bill Pay realize an average 18-percent drop in accounts receivable. They also obtain about 30 percent of patient payments online, an avenue that requires zero employee involvement due to the self-service nature of the process.
There are also benefits that make work easier for staff and create a more efficient workforce. A high degree of automation means staff spend less time on important but time-consuming or repetitive tasks. They then have more time available to use their skills on issues and workflows requiring critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Ultimately, you get more flexibility in scheduling employees for your facility as a whole, creating a positive return for everyone involved.