A patient averages three bill notifications before submitting a payment. These three notifications are typically delivered via paper statements, creating an expensive cost of $2.41 per patient according to SwervePay.
This spending is nearly $1 million per year in billing costs for a health system that delivers over 400,000 annual patient visits.
Despite this expense, paper statements are the healthcare industry’s common bill notification method. 70% of patients are still notified by mail about their post-care payment obligations, according to an infoedge 2015 Healthcare Consumer Payments survey.
However, our survey revealed that two of every three patients prefer to receive their bill over email, text (or SMS), mobile app or an online portal. This electronic preference is especially prominent across the 20 to 44-year-old age group, a rising key insurance demographic.
As younger populations assume more financial responsibility for their medical bills, your organization can respond to their communication preferences by implementing faster and more affordable payment notification channels.
Realize three major benefits by building electronic communication into your patient billing system:
- Scale down operational costs
- Increase your reach
- Reduce time to collect
Scale down operational costs
The administrative cost of $2.41 per patient used to produce paper statements for billing post-care doesn’t include additional costs of call center follow-up.
Implement automated electronic notifications to lower call center volume by up to 35% while minimizing invoice volume up to 20%, as Credit Today found. Collectively, an organization could reduce an estimated 3% of collection costs with a proactive patient messaging system.
Increase your reach
Reach out to your patients more frequently and immediately for minimal added cost. The price of a stamp is now 33% higher than it was ten years ago. Eliminate postage altogether by converting to an electronic communication system where the marginal costs of sending a text or email is negligible.
By using cheaper communication, add more notification steps to your billing process to accelerate patient payments:
- Inform patients about outstanding bills prior to admission
- Provide extra follow-up payment reminders.
Reduce time to collect
Paper statements take longer to generate, deliver and process than any other form of billing.
Increase the time to collect payments with an electronic communication system. Patients who pay their bill electronically will pay faster than through traditional mail. SMS users typically pay a bill within four hours of receiving an alert according to West Corporation.
Streamline the billing process by sending an SMS or email in a matter of seconds versus the slow delivery of a mailed statement.
Introduce electronic bill notifications and reminders so that your organization can meet growing popular demand to help reduce operation costs and time to collect, and increase your reach.
Contact us for a personalized review for introducing electronic communication channels into your organization’s patient payment system to improve the bottom line.