Patient contact early in the billing cycle is key to keeping the revenue cycle on track in today’s healthcare.
Out-of-pocket costs continue to grow, making it all the more important for health care providers to focus on patient payments as soon as possible after care provided.
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found the average out of pocket cost for patients rose almost 230 percent between 2006 and 2015. Since 2010, deductibles have risen almost three times as fast as premiums and seven times faster than wages and inflation.
This additional patient financial commitment can lead to more bad debt for systems unprepared to educate their patients and provide them with the information and reminders needed.
As a result, health care systems have stepped up their emphasis on point-of-service collections. Of course, that shift in focus comes with additional need for employee training in addition to demands for printed materials and signage.
The next crucial step is an early-out collections program, whether internal or through an external vendor. As self-pay grows, the need for qualified expertise to maximize early revenues does as well. An external partner can often perform early out, self pay collections both more effectively and at a lower cost than internal programs, due to their expertise, skilled workforce, resources and established training programs.
An effective early out outsourcing process frees up providers to focus on what they do best, while maximizing patient contact. Early out programs can identify additional insurance coverage and reduce barriers to patient payments, generating more goodwill between the provider and patient.
As patients take more control of their health care and the associated costs, it’s important for providers to be ready to assist them in meeting their commitments.
Providers can realize financial gains through early out programs by reducing billing letter costs and the number of accounts forwarded to bad debt. Since early out programs charge much lower commissions than bad debt collections, providers can maximize revenue all while enhancing the patient experience.
Do you have any questions on keeping your revenue cycle on track? If so, contact us today!