A recent survey showed that more than 50 percent of patients would prefer to receive a digital—not a paper—bill from their healthcare providers. And a whopping 75 percent of patients (including a third of patients age 75 and older) would pre-authorize these healthcare providers to bill any charges to a credit card kept on file.
But many healthcare practices have been slower to adapt to their patients’ desires. A survey conducted by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) revealed that more than three-quarters of providers are still issuing paper bills to their customers. The rate of adoption of electronic patient billing programs or credit-card-on-file (CCOF) programs remains low, even though these programs can be cheaper than generating and mailing paper bills and may actually increase repayment rates.
Digital Billing Can Increase Profitability
Although the MGMA survey found that only about one in eight healthcare practices report that it typically takes patients more than six months to pay their balance in full, a previous survey conducted by this organization revealed that a full three-quarters of healthcare practices wait beyond 90 days to turn over delinquent balances to a collection agency. This can mean that the “typical” repayment time far exceeds the 30-day standard adopted by most healthcare practices.
And with providers reporting that they collect only about a third of all patient reimbursements, improving payment convenience by adopting a digital billing service seems likely to significantly increase reimbursement rates—especially from the 35 percent of patients who report that it’s “inconvenient” to pay for healthcare services.
Medical Billing Software
Billing software such as AZZLY®, a program specifically designed for behavioral health facilities and addiction treatment centers, can make the billing and repayment process easier for all parties involved. This software is essentially a one-stop shop for addiction providers, helping to optimize your outreach, intake, admissions, and medication management through to the billing and collections process. Having the clinical and billing seamlessly flow from one to the other, allows the software to auto-populate the majority of required fields on a claim. This increases the percentage of first time pass rate for claims by reducing the human error from having to re-enter data from one system to another.
Instead of trying to coordinate files kept in multiple locations (or on multiple computers), send out paper bills, and manually process any payments that come in, your staff can instantly track the status of an account, answer questions, and offer patient-centered solutions to ensure the repayment process is as simple and streamlined as possible. By filling out the simple online contact form or giving AZZLY a call at 1 (888) 400-3201, you can quickly set up a no-obligation demo and discuss your pricing options.
Even if few of your patients have specifically expressed a desire for you to offer digital billing plans, making the switch to a paperless billing system is likely to reap enormous dividends, both in repayment rates and patient satisfaction.