9 Ways Healthcare Providers Can Improve Co-Pay Collection - InformationWeek
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8/15/2014
08:06 AM
Alison Diana
Alison Diana
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9 Ways Healthcare Providers Can Improve Co-Pay Collection

Co-payments account for about one-fifth of a private practice's funds, but collecting them can be tricky. These strategies and tools help practices get a handle on unpaid bills.
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Kiosk kickback
When Sharp Healthcare installed 27 kiosks across 11 clinics, the San Diego-based provider primarily aimed to improve patient engagement and satisfaction while meeting federal mandates, said Michelle Calleran, manager of information systems, in an interview. Patients can use the kiosks to update their contact information, check in for appointments, and settle their bills.
While the kiosks, developed by Vecna, are meeting Sharp Healthcare's primary goals by expanding enrollment in the provider's patient portal and improving patient relations, Sharp Healthcare also noticed a growing trend in patients paying overdue invoices. 'This was a real surprise,' Calleran noted. 'In October, people paid past balances of a few thousand dollars. We're up to double digits -- as high as $15,000 [per month] now.' 

(Image: Vecna)

Kiosk kickback

When Sharp Healthcare installed 27 kiosks across 11 clinics, the San Diego-based provider primarily aimed to improve patient engagement and satisfaction while meeting federal mandates, said Michelle Calleran, manager of information systems, in an interview. Patients can use the kiosks to update their contact information, check in for appointments, and settle their bills.

While the kiosks, developed by Vecna, are meeting Sharp Healthcare's primary goals by expanding enrollment in the provider's patient portal and improving patient relations, Sharp Healthcare also noticed a growing trend in patients paying overdue invoices. "This was a real surprise," Calleran noted. "In October, people paid past balances of a few thousand dollars. We're up to double digits -- as high as $15,000 [per month] now."

(Image: Vecna)

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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
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8/15/2014 | 2:49:59 PM
Growing Concern
Earlier today I spoke to another HIT executive who stressed just how much bigger this concern will grow for providers, as more and more patients have to pay either larger co-pays per office visit or will have to spend more out-of-pocket as consumers opt for insurance policies with higher deductibles. Whereas it once might have meant relatively little to a practice's profitability if they didn't collect a high percentage of co-pays, patient payments will account for a bigger chunk of providers' income -- and thus, it is getting more critical for practices to collect every penny they're owed.
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