Real-time billing estimates, time-saving bots: Revenue cycle tools that make healthcare leaders smile

Becker's Hospital Review asked healthcare leaders to share new revenue cycle tools they're excited about.

Here are their responses, presented alphabetically. 

Editor's Note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Colleen Blye 
Executive vice president and CFO of New York City-based Montefiore Health System

The tools we're most excited about are those that are patient-focused. Consumers, particularly millennials, expect and look for that convenience. We are working with vendors that [help improve] a complex billing and information cycle. This enables us to communicate with our patients in a far more user-friendly way, We're excited about these    opportunities which are focused on patient-centered communications, allowing us to connect directly with patients, informing them at the earliest point about what their financial responsibilities are, how to interpret that information, and how to make payments on those responsibilities.

Melissa Greer
Vice president of revenue cycle for UCHealth (Aurora, Colo.)

UCHealth now offers patients the ability to receive individual out-of-pocket estimates via our online patient portal. This tool allows patients to select services and receive estimates in real time utilizing their individual insurance plan information. Using this technology, we are able to provide not just estimated total charges, but also apply contractual discounts and anticipated patient responsibility based on their individual benefits.

For our employees, we are implementing bot technology to reduce the manual intervention needed to follow up on the status of an authorization or claim. Bot integration not only allows employees to focus on value-added work, but also helps curb growing healthcare costs.

Steve Hathaway
Senior vice president of finance and chief revenue officer of Henry Ford Health System (Detroit)

Self-service tools to enhance patient experience with billing:

  • Pre-service out-of-pocket estimation: We are implementing tools that will allow patients to determine their out-of-pocket costs in advance of receiving services — based on the services contemplated and their insurance plan rules and deductible status. This utilizes real-time interfaces with their insurance company websites to get upto-the-minute deductible levels and allow access to provider/payer contract rates.
  • Self-service payment functionality: This allows patients to create payment arrangements online and also to enter into third-party loans. The system provides a wealth of information, such as insurance company EOBs, deductible status and HSA integration. It also automates financial assistance determination, allows flexibility in consolidating guarantor accounts and utilizes propensity-to-pay and other data segmentation capability to tailor offerings to patients' unique circumstances.


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