Numerous years ago, patients paid “reasonable and customary” rates based upon a Chargemaster. The Chargemaster, also known as Charge Description Master (CDM), as defined by Wikipedia, is a comprehensive listing of items billable to a patient or a patient's health insurance provider. The Chargemaster typically serves as the starting point for negotiations with patients and health insurance providers of the amount of money that will actually be paid for the services. It was once described as "the central mechanism of the revenue cycle" for health care. Nowadays, health care is stuck in a complex, antiquated, reimbursement methodology designed by, and for, the insurance industry.
Encouraging prompt patient payment in the 21st century needs to go beyond the standardized billing statements and then a costly system of regular follow up reminders. Engaging websites with simple access to self-initiated patient payments can greatly contribute to positive healthcare revenue cycle results.