One of the major building blocks of the Affordable Care Act is the mandate to digitize patient records. These electronic health records (EHRs) are meant to help the transition between different healthcare providers as the patient moves from one doctor or hospital to another.
Believe it or not, a report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states that up to 26 million people—or 1 in every 10—in the United States don’t have a credit history with one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies. Beyond that, roughly 19 million don’t have a credit history extensive enough to create a credit score.
What does this have to do with self-pay and hospitals? More than you might imagine.
Continue reading Does Credit History Matter in Self-Pay?
Every day, no matter how rural of an area you live in, you probably run into at least one person of a different cultural background. In our healthcare system, it’s even more common, as we all need the same types of care. But serving these other cultures as a healthcare provider may come with considerations in regard to patient education that haven’t crossed our minds yet.
Continue reading Patient Education for Diverse Cultures
As patients are shopping around more for their medical needs, their satisfaction is more important than ever. Return visits mean increased revenue, and they’re likely to recommend a medical facility to friends if they come away satisfied. But when accounts receivable representatives call about payments, there’s a special balance that has to be struck. How can reps get their jobs done without creating tension between the patient and the medical facility?
Patient education is at the core of what we do from a self-pay side, but we know it’s an important part of what happens in a hospital every day too. A recent article suggests that many patients don’t retain much of the information they’re provided, perhaps because of the stress they may be feeling. However, a new education system is being used in trials to determine if hospitals and their partners can use technology to improve the education we provide to patients.
Even with the rise of accessible insurance with the Affordable Care Act, many patients are still responsible for paying a significant amount of their medical bills. If patients have problems paying, it can cause issues for a medical facility’s revenue cycle. There are, however, several strategies that can be put in place that can help patients make their payments on time.
We all strive to do what we can to shorten the revenue cycle—whether that’s simply making it easier for patients to pay their bills or helping them understand what they owe and why they owe it. But it’s not always the patient’s fault when the revenue cycle takes longer to close. Some very common errors can lead to patient billing mistakes, and those mistakes mean longer payment cycles. If you can avoid some of these errors, you can close some of the gaps in your revenue cycle.
Telemedicine is being closely monitored by many hospitals and medical care facilities across the country as a great new means for boosting accounts receivable. As technology to support telemedicine continues to develop, we will soon see the impacts—especially in patient self-pay accounts.
Continue reading Telemedicine Will Impact Patient Accounts Receivable
As Baby Boomers continue to age and Millennials start families, it’s more apparent than ever that there are very distinct differences in the generations you serve in a medical facility. The technology each generation has grown up with is different—we all learned to interact with the world, and each other, in different ways. This trend is in no way slowing down; late teens about to become adults will be increasingly tech-savvy and perhaps increasingly impatient. This can present challenges to different departments in your hospital or medical facility that are responsible for communicating with this wide array of patients. There are strategies, however, that can help you bridge the gap and communicate effectively with all generations.
Recently, The Commonwealth Fund released a report that states that over 31 million people with health coverage in the United States were underinsured in 2014. To be considered “underinsured,” you have to have had health insurance for at least a full year, but have high deductibles or out of pocket expenses relative to income.