How to Prevent Lost Volume and Revenues

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Relying on insurance and Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are simply not enough anymore. High deductibles require patients to pay a higher percentage of the bill. And as the patient pays more, the patient starts to act more and more like a consumer at every level.

Recently in Health Data Management, writer Tom Furr summed up an extremely important point for the hospital bottom line: an increasing amount of revenue is coming from the patient as payer. Furr shares interesting and disturbing insights from management consultancy, McKinsey & Company, (bold type ours):[1]

  • The amount collected from individual patients will be higher than from payers (such as Medicare/Medicaid or health insurance providers).
  • Patients pay more than twice as slowly as payers and require more intervention.
  • Increased balance after insurance (BAI) volume will require more efficient and cost-effective collection methods.

It bears repeating:

The majority of hospital collections come from people who pay twice as slowly as payers and require more intervention.

You can turn the tides in your favor. A solution exists that allows you to use this consumer dynamic to your benefit. Offering convenience and ease are two ways that you can start treating the patient-as-payer and attract consumers to you. And once you have them, you can actually collect the monies owed and get them in your bank sooner instead of waiting months for pennies on the dollar.

Create an E-commerce Strategy and a Storefront Strategy

It all starts with two simple consumer touch points: creating an online marketplace where consumers can shop for services and discounts, as well as enabling a retail function during your registration. HealthQRS can give you both.

Amazon.com is a great example of a retail giant who not only uses e-commerce for the majority of its business, but is now putting storefronts in some markets. If you think of your hospital as a storefront, we allow you to conduct retail business at the time of registration and also online, just like Amazon does for its consumers.

HealthQRS Provides an E-Commerce Solution for You

With our retail medical marketplace, any patient can see what times and dates are available for procedures. They can see true costs, not just estimates, so they know going in exactly how much it will cost them. The marketplace allows consumers to schedule appointments, check the balances of their FSAs or HSAs and pay their entire bill upfront, or make a down payment and schedule a payment plan, all from the convenience of their smartphones, tablets or computers.

Once they are using your marketplace, they can get appointment reminders or alerts regarding scheduling checkups, or even messages and tips on what they need to do for preventive care.

Assist People with Scheduling Preventive Procedures

People put off many preventive procedures, such as mammograms or colonoscopies because they aren’t sure what they will have to pay. If they can’t see what it’s going to cost them, they aren’t going to get it done. Allowing consumers to see upfront exactly how much a test will cost them gives them the opportunity to budget, schedule and pay, and accomplish all three in a matter of minutes. You are paid upfront. This is huge in terms of cash flow, but it also prevents many no-shows.

Attract New Patients through Employers

HealthQRS’ solution offers a carrot for you to win the business of small- to medium-sized employers in your community. If you explain to them that you will give their employees a 20% discount if they use your facilities, that helps the employees, the employer and you. You have the benefit of a warm market. Ensuring discounts is a great way to help people “want” to use your hospital and facilities. Plus, offering discounts helps you take advantage of down times to manage your inventory more effectively.

Storefront Commerce

Another revenue tool is the point-of-service transaction that you conduct right at the registration window. With the click of a mouse, your registrars access the exact amount a patient owes and can collect the amount right then with our built-in retail solution. Our system contains interactive scripts and prompts, helping office staff conduct financial discussions with patients and their families. Consumers feel relieved when they know exactly how much they are going to have to pay for a procedure and they are thankful that your team members can help them access the balances in their health or flexible savings accounts.

As Furr says in his article: “Whether it’s part of the point-of-service process or integrated with billing issued upon discharge, a payment plan has to be made available to the patient. More than being fair, it’s practical for a hospital to have such plans if it wants to keep patient debt and write-offs at a minimum.”[2] He goes on to say, “In all likelihood, a hospital that embraces the patient-as-payer reality and acts accordingly is likely to see a quick return on investment as well as higher patient satisfaction and lower patient debt.”[3]

We agree. It’s time for you to see a quick return. Why not  contact us right now for more information or click here to schedule a demo?

HealthQRS’ founders have over 12 years of experience creating retail experiences in healthcare. We can have your system up and running in about six weeks. Our solution is a software as a service (SAS), so you only pay a monthly subscription, no upfront capital expenses. We invite you to learn more about HealthQRS’ solutions and how they can help you provide true price information to your patients and to collect your money upfront.

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[1] Tom Furr, “Hospitals’ New Reality: Patients as Payers,” Health Data Management, April 18, 2017, https://www.healthdatamanagement.com/opinion/hospitals-new-reality-patients-as-payors

[2] Ibid.

[3] Tom Furr, “Hospitals’ New Reality: Patients as Payers,” Health Data Management, April 18, 2017, https://www.healthdatamanagement.com/opinion/hospitals-new-reality-patients-as-payors

 

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