COVID has accelerated a trend of healthcare organizations facing a growing patient responsibility for their healthcare bills — insurance is paying less, patients are paying more. Collecting from thousands of patients is much more costly than collecting from dozens of insurance companies. In addition, job loss, resulting in the loss of insurance due to COVID, is accelerating this trend. According to an October 2020 study by TransUnion Healthcare, 22% of all patients reported that their healthcare insurance coverage was impacted by COVID-19. Meanwhile, average unsubsidized family healthcare premiums for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rose 97% from 2015 through 2020. (Kaiser Family Foundation) To help combat the growing cost of healthcare and insurance, many patients and firms are choosing lower-cost, high-deductible health plans (“HDHP”).
In recent years, the patient responsibility for their healthcare bills has grown tremendously and with that, the rise of healthcare consumerism. Healthcare organizations are finding it critical to treat patients as consumers who research costs and make choices based on that research. Patients now demand and expect the following (1) to know what they will be responsible to pay before their service, (2) receive a clear patient statement explaining what they owe, and (3) have a variety of easy-to-use electronic payment methods available to them 24/7 to make payments.
It is this third area which is a challenge for many healthcare organizations with staff under incredible strain from COVID: how to implement cost-effective 24/7 easy-to-use or “frictionless” patient payment methods that are PCI and HIPAA-compliant and fully integrated into their patient financial systems. In order to effectively collect from patients on a massive scale, full integration to both the patient financial system and the credit card processor is required. When looking for a payment portal, an in-office kiosk, or an IVR automated pay by phone system, healthcare providers should seek integration and experience. 1-800 Notify provides this deep experience in the IVR Autopay by Phone space having implemented dozens of IVR systems across many financial systems including Epic Systems, NextGen Healthcare, eClinicalWorks, and many others. An IVR should provide a frictionless experience with fast and secure identification and payment features such as storing a payment method on file. A stored credit card on file will improve the patient experience by reducing the time they spend making their payments.
With an autopay system, 20% of phone payments are typically made when staff aren’t working; an autopay system helps resolve these missing payments that would otherwise end up delayed indefinitely. A smoother process that leads to a faster resolution means a better customer experience for patients and a more manageable workload for staff.
“Long queues and heavy call volumes have a compounding effect that leads to worse outcomes for staff and patients,” according to Martin Trautschold, CEO of 1-800 Notify. “An automated payment collection system helps address the challenge of collecting funds in a way that’s timely and convenient.”
Autopay by phone and other remote services help billing departments and staff avoid long queues, and have been shown to reduce call times for up to 30% of callers. Manual payment typically involves 3-10 minutes of hold time and another 5-14 minutes of waiting for an available agent — and that’s before the process has even started. With credit card information already on file, automated billpay can take a payment and resolve the process in under 3 minutes.
Collecting patient balances continues to be a challenge throughout the industry as organizations work to discover the most effective ways to streamline the process and train staff. 1-800 Notify provides the right secure tools via automation services that help staff get more done to simplify repetitive, error-prone processes and provide good customer service. For more information, visit www.1800notify.com.
About 1-800 Notify
1-800 Notify is a healthcare communications firm that is fully HIPAA and PCI compliant, an Epic App Orchard Partner and integrates with many systems. 1-800 Notify improves patient appointment attendance, wellness and payments while improving efficiency for hospitals, systems, physician groups, and medical billing firms. Founded in 2011, 1-800 Notify has rapidly grown to support millions of inbound IVR autopay by phone calls, two-way appointment reminders, patient wellness and broadcast messages. 1-800 Notify is proud of its 98% client retention rate. We focus on learning each client’s unique needs, tailoring solutions to those needs and providing a highly reliable and scalable service — all at a price that is difficult for our competition to match. For more information, visit www.1800notify.com.
Source: 1-800 Notify