4 thoughts on implementing point-of-service collections in a small physician practice

The rise of high-deductible health plans has pushed providers to seek reimbursement upfront.

Amy Rogers, office manager of Skokie, Ill.-based Orthopaedics & Rheumatology of the North Shore, says the small specialty practice "got crippled from high-deductible health plans." She spoke with Becker's Hospital Review about how the specialty practice used point of service to increase self-pay collections related to HDHPs.

Here are four thoughts from Ms. Rogers about implementing POS collections in small physician groups.

1. Ms. Rogers says Orthopaedics & Rheumatology integrated Easy Pay Solutions in its Aprima EHR to keep patients' credit cards on file. Under the POS program, credit cards have a limit of $500 per swipe on commercial plans and $200 per swipe on Medicare plans, according to Ms. Rogers. 

2. By integrating the POS service into the practice's EHR, Ms. Rogers says Orthopaedics & Rheumatology witnessed a 53 percent decrease in time in accounts receivable from when the program was implemented in September 2015. In addition, the practice saw accounts receivable between 91 to 120 days drop 73 percent. 

3. However, patient education proved to be one of the most prominent challenges of implementing the POS program, says Ms. Rogers. Orthopaedics & Rheumatology partially addressed this issue by directing patients to Ms. Rogers for further education, rather than requiring physicians to explain the collection change.

4. Ms. Rogers also notes POS can be labor intensive in the beginning, as small practices will need to input all of their patients' information. Ms. Rogers says praticewide communication is essential and helps avoid negative effects on care delivery. She adds Orthopaedics & Rheumatology found success through continued staff support as well as open communication lines between management and physicians.  

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