Patient Revenue Cycle and The Value of Real-Time Auto-Posting
It’s almost the end of 2018, and it might be time to begin considering some resolutions for the coming year. Here’s one to begin exploring right now to collect more patient payments in 2019: automating your patient revenue cycle.
We’ve discussed the benefits of automation in general before on our blog, but today we are going to focus on a specific feature of the Health iPASS platform that is made possible by our high level of integration with some of the most common practice management (PM) systems-- auto-posting of patient demographic information and payments.
The front-end benefits of Health iPASS are what you see right away when you view a demo of our patient revenue cycle solution—the client-branded appointment reminders, easy to use iPad check-in kiosks, a streamlined check-in process, and an easy and convenient payment process - just to name a few. However, it’s the back-end features of Health iPASS, like demographic and payment auto-posting that can sometimes be the unsung heroes of patient revenue cycle efficiency, saving time and money, and leading to more satisfied, loyal patients and staff.
How does auto-posting do all of that? We’ll get to that, but let’s take a step back for a minute and set the stage. It has become increasingly obvious that manual patient revenue cycle tasks long relied upon by healthcare providers are simply not efficient to address the modern challenges of patient-as-payer due largely in part to the increase in high-deductible healthcare plans. Patients payment now account for over one-third of the payer mix, which has risen from slightly less than 10% over the last five years.
Due to the fact that healthcare providers are now trying to collect more of their revenue directly from patients rather than third-party payers, the costs and time to collect have risen sharply. The bottom line is that providers are collecting less than before and are forced to throw away good money and resources via staff full-time equivalencies (FTEs)or hiring third party collection agencies towards bad debt and collections and mailing materials if they continue to rely on manual posting processes.
Auto-posting is one of the ways that Health iPASS puts money back into the pockets of providers by reducing time and costs to collect, as well as the improving the accuracy of demographic and payment information. Every time a patient checks in with Health iPASS, he or she will be presented with a screen showing their demographic information, which they will then be prompted to verify or change. If this information is changed, any changes automatically post to the practice management (PM) system. This process is much more efficient than printing out a physical copy of the same information for the patient to physically sign off on each time they come in for an appointment, not to mention staff manual entry if anything has been changed. The same concept applies to payments, which are also automatically posted to the PM system at the encounter level saving staff FTEs and guesswork on which patient and appointment should be credited for the payment.
Let’s take a look at some raw numbers. According to our most recent analysis, auto-posting saves an average of 1.7 minutes per transaction at point-of-sale, and 2.5 minutes for online bill pay portals. These saved minutes translate into time your staff could channel into the parts of their jobs that require the human touch, such as interacting with patients and providing the best possible customer service.
When you consider the full-time equivalency savings combined with eliminating the need for paper statements and all the associated costs, the total cost savings amount to an approximate average of $141.70 per 100 transactions. One can't help but wonder how much of the $250 billion dollars spent processing the over 30 billion healthcare transactions each year could be cut if more providers automated their revenue cycles.
To find out more on how Health iPASS can help your practice collect more from patients, register for our upcoming webinar December 13 by clicking on the button below, or schedule a demo.