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Self-Service Patient Billing Solutions

Posted by Meduit RCM on Jun 15, 2021 2:30:00 AM

Are They Really the Answer to Maximizing Revenue?  

The patient portion of medical fees has grown from 5% just 20 years ago to over 35%. The patient’s financial burden is projected to continue growing due to the impact of high-deductible health plans and the rising cost of care. Healthcare providers are only collecting a portion of what patients owe, with estimates ranging from 20% to 55%, according to a recent report from PitchBook.

Providers collecting only 20% – 55% of what patients owe

A number of startup companies have entered the healthcare RCM space to help providers collect from patients using self-service solutions. Are these solutions driving increased revenues to providers? The answer points to a delicate balance between the convenience of self-service and human contact with the patient.

The self-service RCM companies state they are driving up to 30% increase in cash from accounts at half the cost of traditional Early Out solutions through patient texting, website access and online apps. Meduit analyzed results driven by self-service-only technologies versus a blend of self-service and human-based customer service/call center collections. Our specific case study at a multiple-hospital health system revealed that after one year of self-service technology deployment, there was a total patient cash increase of 13%. A self-service vendor would attribute this 13% increase to the implementation of their self-service technology. However, upon further analysis, the data also identified a parallel 13% year-over-year (YOY) increase in patient volumes, so the real net impact on collections from self-service patient payment solutions was zero.

Zero financial impact from total reliance on self-service solutions

Meduit also found that human contact with patients is central to increasing collections, and here is where self-service really misses the mark when not integrated with person-to-person contact.

  • 50% of patients prefer to speak to someone regarding paying their bill
  • 60% of patients who began to use self-service technologies ultimately gave up and called in for assistance in either completing their payment arrangements or wanting additional information before paying

A comprehensive solution that combines self-service options with human contact delivers the best results. Anything less works against providers, causing decreased patient engagement and satisfaction without any cash benefit. Provider organizations that have already implemented best practice collection efforts will not see a material increase in total patient cash, based on our studies. However, they will see payments shift from traditional methods of letters, mailed checks and telephonic payment arrangements over to more self-service electronic payments and engagement, providing patients with more convenient options to engage and pay. The only organizations seeing significant total cash lift after implementing self-service are organizations that were previously doing minimal collection efforts and were not at best practice. This would indicate that while self-service is a key to improved patient satisfaction, in our study, it was not the driver of cash that we were seeing in claims from several of the self-service companies.

By offering the convenience of self-service combined with full-service solutions calibrated with the right balance by compassionate people, Meduit lowers costs while driving more cash from patient accounts. What’s more, Meduit’s voice analytics and AI technologies record and analyze 100% of calls, documenting why patients are calling and how best to interact with those patients for highest financial results and better patient satisfaction. These results are shared with our customers to ensure they know what patients are experiencing in order to create a more engaged and satisfied clientele.

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