Expansion of payment channels: U.S. consumers paid an estimate of more than $300 billion online in 2016. To collect additional payments, billing services, along with their clients, must follow the best practices of other industries to meet the expectations that consumers have. Also, medical billing services must change the thinking of their staff and patients to prepare them to collect and pay, respectively. Prompt pay discounts, staff incentive programs, minimum payment requirements and scripts for payment discussions can all be invaluable in this regard.
Increased focus on data and security: As online patient payments increase, more credit cards and bank accounts are exposed, which dramatically increases the chances of a data breach. To reduce that risk, billing services need to implement methods to protect sensitive information, including encryption at the point of interaction and other security measures. What’s more, as more and more data is stored on the cloud, the risk of long-term downtime and data loss during disasters increases as well. Outsourcing your medical bill payment needs to a company with a solid disaster recovery plan is the most secure, most efficient way to address these issues.
Simplified (and expanded) payment experience: As patient responsibility increases, patients themselves will have more impact on the growth and development of the healthcare payments process. Giving patients additional channels to make their payments will result in billing services (and their clients) collecting more payments, with an increase in efficiency and reduction in costs. Many billing services still send out multiple paper payment statements, then make follow-up calls to collect these payments, which is costly and time-consuming. Making payments possible at every interaction point with the patient can be a key factor in reducing the time and costs involved in collecting via paper bills and calls.
Keeping up with the changes in both technology and best practices when it comes to medical billing can be a difficult and complicated process. But finding a reliable provider of bill payment services, one well versed in the security, compliance and technological issues involved, can allow your company to increase payments from patients in an efficient, cost-effective way while allowing your staff to focus instead on your organization’s core competencies.