Payment delays are an ongoing struggle for many community hospitals, especially those with a more significant number of self-pay patients.
The percentage of self-pay patients has seen a recent decrease in the past years, but the number of days outstanding revenue in accounts receivable remains high. As a result, managing past due accounts is more time-consuming for community hospitals that continue to use paper statements.
Automated patient statement processing and online bill pay solutions can boost your hospital's self-pay collections, reduce costs and aging accounts receivable, and add efficiency to the overall revenue cycle management process.
Processing delays in collections can negatively impact your self-pay accounts receivable. A late bill here, a late bill there, if not addressed quickly, these seemingly more minor delays accumulate add create more significant collection problems for your facility.
A West Corp study on Solving Healthcare's Revenue Cycle Challenges noted that 36 percent of patients delayed payment because they were unsure of what was owed or what payment method to use. These issues can become chronic in a consumer-driven healthcare landscape where people often expect a digital payment option, and that option does not exist.
Why else would a hospital want to consider adding a digital payment solution? Think of the purchasing habits of a younger and mobile generation of healthcare consumers.
Except for people in their 80s or those with chronic health conditions, a report from JAMA Internal Medicine states that fewer Americans are staying with a single provider. Also, with the recent pandemic, there has been an increase in consumers relocating residences, which could make accurate paper statement delivery even more difficult.
A bill payment solution that does not rely on manual delivery to a physical address but rather a digital network can alleviate many of the issues related to paper statements.
In addition to expedited and accurate statement delivery, digital patient statements can also provide greater clarity to healthcare bills. A digital format can include elements that further assist patients in managing their healthcare financial obligations by helping them select a payment solution that best fits their needs—whether via mail or online.
A digital bill payment solution can help reduce costs associated with mailing patients paper statements.
Paper statement processing is an added cost when you consider the cost of paper, printer supplies, and labor, as well as postage rates. All of these expenses will likely increase over time.
A digital bill statement option frees your hospital from raw material price inflation and other cost related to paper statement printing and mailing while also helping to expedite the receipt of patient payments.
Hospitals can find a simple and affordable way to expedite patient payments by selecting to outsource statement processing, which MEDHOST offers as an integrated online bill payment solution.
For example, MEDHOST Online Bill Pay solution includes the option for SMS (text messaging service) statement delivery. By delivering statements to patients' mobile devices, not only can you cut processing costs, but you also accelerate the collection process while making the bill payment process more convenient for your patients.
Based on data collected from MEDHOST Online Bill Pay customers, in most cases, patient statements are paid within minutes. This time-to-payment contrasts with that of paper statements, which can take at least a day just to arrive in the patient's mailbox.
In addition, our online bill payment solution is one of the only services of its kind capable of posting payments directly to the patient account without any manual intervention. Auto payment posting reduces the costs of sending paper statements and increases billing accuracy and efficiency. All this helps your hospital:
If the number of days outstanding patient balances spend in your accounts receivable continues to grow, online bill pay with statement processing is a viable solution to receiving payments faster. Statement processing with an online bill payment solution is a cost-effective way to reinforce your revenue cycle management process, ensuring you receive payments on time and can continue providing care.