Thanks to modern technology, we live in an increasingly connected world. Accessing financial information and paying bills online is not uncommon, and is often expected. As practices across the country are adopting electronic health record (EHR) systems and patient portals, doctors are preparing themselves for the incorporation of modern procedures with which to improve patient collections.
Offering secure online transactions can help your practice create a more efficient process for patient payments, while minimizing outstanding statements.
Online Patient Payments
Using the PrognoCIS patient portal, providers can send bills directly to patients, who can then view the statements and easily pay from the comfort of their homes. From here, the information is directly populated within integrated PrognoCIS Practice Management software and available for the medical billing team.
Once a practice has enabled online payments within their EHR software, they should:
- Ensure financial policies are updated to accommodate online patient payments
- Properly promote the availability of the online payment feature
- Make sure patients are aware of how to access the feature
In order to ease the transition for patients, practices should to designate a specific individual or team who will be responsible for communicating with the patients about their financial policies. This may be an employee at the front desk or in the medical billing department. In a larger practice, an individual may be hired for the sole purpose of discussing financial arrangements with patients.
A few minutes of face-to-face communication with each patient can go a long way. Staff should discuss how the practice handles the portion of charges that is the patient’s responsibility. Present the practice’s financial policy with the most important information highlighted or circled. If the patient indicates a preference for making payments online, the staff member should also focus on explaining the process for doing so.
The following information should be reviewed with each patient:
- A description of how the practice will handle the patient’s responsibility portion of care
- A sample of the statement the patient will receive
- A business card for the staff member interacting with the patient
The practice should record each patient’s email address, preferred method of communication, and preferred method of payment to ensure smooth transactions. By following these guidelines, practices can increase patient involvement, maximize patient collections, and establish a stronger relationship between patients and their providers.
Author: Lauren Daniels