RCM tip of the day: Focus on payment collection before, after patient visit

To improve patient collections and experience, hospitals should examine collection opportunities throughout the patient's care journey, advised Jim Higgins, founder and CEO of Solutionreach, a provider of patient relationship management solutions.

He recommended beginning by collecting payment information during scheduling.

"Think big picture; not just demographic data," said Mr. Higgins.

He recommended obtaining patient email addresses and cell numbers to use for appointment reminders and electronic payments. Then, during the scheduled appointment, he said hospitals should confirm that information.

Mr. Higgins said hospitals also should collect copays, get signatures on the organization's payment policy and ask patients to provide credit card information to keep on file.

Once the appointment is over, he recommended hospitals use send email or text payment reminders to patients  and allow them to pay medical bills via their mobile devices.

"The key here is to use email and text to speed up the process. The longer it takes to collect, the less you collect," said Mr. Higgins.

"Move to online scheduling with email and text payment alerts to move things along and collect more, faster. It's a better experience for the organization and for patients," he added.

If you would like to share your RCM best practices, please email Kelly Gooch at kgooch@beckershealthcare.com to be featured in the "RCM tip of the day" series.


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