Patient Billing Challenges Revenue Cycle Management

August 16, 2016

revenue cycle management

Organizations can improve revenue cycle management by making patient billing processes more automated by using a modern payment systems.

Patient payment and billing are significant revenue cycle management challenges that should not be ignored.  According to a recent survey conducted by Navicure, 63 percent of participants recognized that patient payment processes were “a high priority” for the healthcare revenue cycle.

“It is important to reexamine existing workflows and processes to adopt a more effective, automated patient payments process,” the survey said.

Patient accountability was also major concern for participants, who reported having difficult time collecting payment from patients. About one-third of survey respondents (31 percent) said they struggle with patients’ inability to pay for medical bills. Additionally, 26 percent of participants experienced difficulties educating patients about their financial responsibility. A quarter of participants said slow-paying patients remain a significant challenge.

On the subject of best practices for payment processing, results varied. A majority of participants (62 percent) did not offer an electronic credit card on file. Only 35 percent of organizations had a credit card on file payment system. Of those, 64 percent would recommend it to others. Those who have implemented the system were pleased with the results so far, the survey said.

Also, 52 percent of participants did not automate payment plans while 57 percent did not send electronic statements to patients. The participants that did use these technologies to make the billing process better thought their peers should do the same.

Researchers argue that it’s helpful for organizations to have a securely stored credit card on file that can be automatically charged once a patient’s balance is determined. By doing this, organizations can reduce the time it takes to receive payments from patients.

Access the full survey summary and further details here.