Effective communication between healthcare organizations and their patients is more challenging than ever – and the stakes are higher. Two factors in particular have heightened the importance of streamlining patient communication channels:

  • Self-pay as a percentage of revenue is on the rise, and many providers have seen their billing-related costs and accounts receivables levels increase – a growing risk to the bottom line.
  • Meaningful use incentives require that providers not only offer an online portal for patients to access their medical records, but a minimum of 5 percent must actually use it

Increased electronic engagement between healthcare providers and patients providers significant opportunities for improving revenue cycle metrics and encouraging patients to access EHRs in order to meet meaningful use requirements. Providing a single login to access both payment tools and EHR information not only boosts the financial benefits, it improves the patient experience.

Improve Revenue Cycle Metrics

Online payment portals alone can help improve revenue cycle metrics by reducing billing-related costs and accelerating payments. Apex Information Technologies, one of our patient statement partners, reports that 90% of all online payments made through their online portals are made before the due date. And patients who pay online are more likely to enroll in electronic statement delivery, improving communications.

Impact Meaningful Use

Because many patients prefer to view statements and make payments online, providers can leverage the popularity of online payments to help drive traffic to electronic records. In some cases, that additional traffic could make the difference in whether a provider qualifies for meaningful use incentive pay. Users of Epic’s MyChart, for example, can now gain access to Apex billing and reporting solutions directly from MyChart, without having to recall and enter yet another user name and password, As a result, 19% of online payments are completed by patients through the integrated patient portal account.

Deliver a Better Patient Experience

Streamlining access points for the patient means less to remember, less time commitment, and better visibility to the information they need to manage their healthcare. In addition to medical records, patients have access to past statements and payment history all in one place. Patients can self-serve to resolve billing-related questions, which may eliminate another touch-point with the call center or billing staff. When patients do call, visibility to information online helps to resolve calls faster.

For a quick results with sustained returns, establish an online patient payment portal that is seamlessly integrated with your EHR system. Integration provides benefits to support your financial goals today, but also delivers an exceptional customer experience so you can protect patient loyalty for the future.

About State Collection Service, Inc.

Since 1949, State Collection Service has provided quality collection service to countless healthcare organizations.

Through experience and innovation, State Collection Service has grown to become a tremendously credible and nationally-recognized collection agency offering services from pre-registration to bad debt. It is upon the basis of ethical behavior and a dedication to integrity that each State Collection Service employee works to uphold the company’s vision – Partnerships for a Lifetime.

*This article first appeared in “A State Collection Service, Inc. Newsletter Volume 20, Issue 4, Fourth Quarter 2014”