When you take a proactive approach to identifying and resolving revenue cycle challenges, you set your ASC up for financial success. Regent RCM partners with ASCs to create more effective billing and collection systems. In a series of blog posts, we are outlining some of the most common problems in revenue cycle management and how to fix them.
Revenue Cycle Challenge #3 is: Upfront Collections.
Revenue cycle challenges are not new. Patients are increasingly responsible for a larger portion of surgery expenses, as health insurance deductibles and co-pays rise. Existing financial systems must evolve to improve patient understanding and expedite payments.
According to our data, more than 90% of patients want to know their payment responsibility before they come in for a provider visit or procedure. Offering pre-surgery patient financial counseling and prioritizing upfront collections can make a significant positive impact on your ASC’s revenue cycle.
“We’re making sure to include in our financial planning process an upfront review of the patient’s benefits,” said Erin Petrie, Regent RCM’s Director of Revenue Cycle Management. “Taking this step helps ensure transparency about out-of pocket expense, so costs can be estimated, explained, and ideally, collected in advance of services being rendered. It makes patients more comfortable about their financial commitment and reduces our risk on the backend.”
3 Steps to Increase Patient Payment Collections
- Be Transparent
Greater initial transparency about payment responsibility leads to better collection rates. Schedule a patient counseling call before a procedure, and explain in straightforward terms what is expected from them financially. Industry data indicates that around 74% of patients are confused by Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) and medical bills. Answer their questions, and give them an estimate of what their total costs will be.
- Provide Financial Counseling
When you talk to patients before surgery, explain how your billing and collections process works. Ask if they want to pay for part or all of the balance now. Discuss the different payment options available, and offer to design a payment plan for them. Since patients are responsible for about 30% of the average healthcare bill, providing options increases your likelihood of collections.
- Train Your Staff to Provide Exceptional Service
Educate your staff about how to have productive and empathetic conversations with patients about payments. At Regent RCM our RISE program integrates our core values into every aspect of our corporate culture, including how we lead our employees. Compassion is central to our mission and our employees exercise our Respectful Caring value with clients, patients, and other team members. We answer questions, listen to feedback, and act promptly to serve patients and client needs. Put yourself in your patient’s shoes, and approach these conversations with the goal of educating, clarifying, and finding a mutually beneficial solution.
Learn more about Regent RCM’s billing and collections services.