Patient Payment Plans Maximize Your Revenue Cycle

Posted by Dawn Lunde on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 09:31 AM

Pre-authorizing patient credit and debit cards helps payment plans succeed.
Pre-authorizing patient credit and debit cards helps payment plans succeed.

Healthcare providers have a lot of unique challenges to contend with. With a highly regulated medical field, potentially complicated insurance formats, and capturing the revenue your facility is owed can be more difficult than in many other sectors of the economy.

While it's sometimes difficult or impossible for patients to pay their entire bill at the time care is provided, your facility is rightfully owed revenue and ultimately needs it to maintain continuity of operations and a healthy balance sheet. How can you make payment conditions more amenable to patients while also keeping a firm hand to capture those funds? An effective strategy for patient payment plans can bridge the gap and create a positive result for everyone involved.

How Patient Payment Plans Boost Revenue

"A/R can reduce significantly through patient payment plans."

When successfully implemented and the patients understand the benefits, pre-scheduled payment plans have the potential to significantly reduce accounts receivable and increase your facility's fiscal health. On average, our clients collect 18-20 percent of patient payment revenue when they include a payment plan option in their offerings to patients. However, not all payment plans are created equal.

A 2016 Navicure survey, "Healthcare Organizations + Patient Payments," found patients' inability to pay and slow speed in paying were two of the most common concerns facing providers. Despite that common issue, one of the most effective strategies for ensuring the capture of revenue, card-on-file payments, has a relatively low rate of adoption. Just 38 percent of facilities use this tactic to bring in the money owed to them.

Pre-authorized patient payment plans strike an effective balance between the limited available finances - a reality for many patients - and your facility's need to claim revenue for care it's provided. By extending the deadline for collecting the entire payment, you receive a strong commitment to pay the full amount in return.

Patients who can pay over time as opposed to settling their bill all at once find this option more realistic and less worrisome. Your staff will also see an improvement over past arrangements due to how these payment plans run on their own with no additional effort.

The difference between having a card-on-file and not doing so is clear. With a pre-authorized card securely stored via tokenization in your advanced payment solution, debits are made regularly and automatically. Little work is required on the part of staff. Without pre-authorization, your admins have to invest a significant amount of time and effort into tracking down patients on the phone and gathering payment details, month after month.

Pre-scheduled patient payment plans can capture as much as 20 percent of a facility's total A/R. With that kind of improvement from a relatively small change, there are plenty of reasons to ensure your facility's patient payment plans are as effective as possible.

Tags: patient payment plans, Revenue Cycle Management, Payment Processing

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  • "We have so much more information available to us with SBP than with our previous service. It's offering our patients more flexibility, and happier patients are much more pleasant for our Billing Office to deal with."

    - Kurt A.
    Revenue Cycle Manager
    National Imaging Center
  • "The staff at Secure Bill Pay have been an excellent revenue cycle partner in assisting us with setting up our processes, helping us review and analyze our results and identify opportunities at our various locations. They partner with us to identify new solutions and services as we have grown. The reliability for payment processing has been very good and our requests for Customer Support are handled very timely and thoroughly."
    - Kathleen J.
    Central Business Office Manager
    Multi-Hospital & Clinic Health System
  • "Our volume of patient credit/debit card payments increased by 44% in the first month of the service compared to that same month a year prior (with the same patient volume). We attribute that to now having online bill pay and better ability to collect at the POS for all of our locations [where we had not been before], even the outreach sites!"
    - Terry M.
    Practice Administrator
    Orthopedic Spine Surgery Group
  • “I’ve been shocked with the success of the online bill paying program... Patients come to us in acute health care situations. Bill paying is not their highest priority. We didn’t expect so many patients to use Secure Bill Pay so quickly, but the statistics speak for themselves.”
    - Beth M.
    VP Revenue Cycle
    Large University Health System
  • "Before Secure Bill Pay, online bill pay only accounted for one percent of our payments. After just six months of using Secure Bill Pay’s no-login solution, that number reached 10 percent."
    - Jen R.
    Finance Manager
    Large Ophthalmology Practice
  • “The nice part about Secure Bill Pay is the breadth of tools available to manage the entire patient pay process. But the best part is the outcomes we’ve seen, including year-over-year double-digit increases in patient pay revenue that are not wholly due to industry or volume changes.”

    "The integration with our PM/EMR software is simply icing on the cake."

    - Steve M.
    Director of Business Services
    Large Integrated Health System
  • "Senior Management is thrilled with the numbers coming through due to our implementation of Secure Bill Pay."
    - Kim W.
    Business Office Supervisor
    Inpatient & Outpatient Psychiatric Facility
  • "The system was received with open arms at each clinic. All had a few questions at first, but as you said, it was simple to get comfortable."
    - Sue C.
    Practice Manager
    Large Nephrology Practice
  • "Secure Bill Pay has streamlined our credit card process. It has been beneficial from a processing end to a storage and search of record end. Certainly saves us time!"
    - Jackie F.
    Business Office Manager
    Dematology Practice
  • "It is easy to talk about a product and service we are totally happy with!"
    - Cheryl M.
    Practice Manager
    Mid-size Ophthalmology Practice
  • "We're impressed. Thank you for not being afraid of any question we may ask and answering it in a straightforward manner. This gives us more confidence."
    - Grant E.
    Revenue Cycle Manager
    Large Dermatology Clinic
  • "Secure Bill Pay  is a much more efficient option for collecting patient payments... It is a forward thinking approach for healthcare revenue. Dynamics have switched where we all need to think and act like a business versus a service."

    - Julie H.
    Director of Business Services
    Large Physician Group

     

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