For any collection agency that works with a hospital, be it large or small, this is an article that you might want to share with your clients. It details how Iroquois Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed community hospital in Illinois, boosted their point-of-service patient collection by 300%.
The article goes into detail about the changes that the hospital made, including a massive education effort for both the staff and incoming patients, and moving office functions that were traditionally done in the back office to the front of the house.
For many providers, obtaining a patient’s financial responsibility, especially at the point-of-service, has proven to be a difficult task. Hospitals only collect payments upfront from 35 percent of patients at an office or in the hospital, accounting for just 19 percent of patient-owed fees, reported Availity in March 2015.
Staff at the hospital had little or now knowledge about what their colleagues and co-workers did, and some general knowledge, such as explaining the difference between a co-pay and a deductible, helped narrow the knowledge gaps.
The hospital also took special pains to make sure that patients were aware of their responsibilities, before they even stepped foot into the hospital.
Wright also focused on patient education, especially since the hospital expected patients to pay for services upfront or make a plan to fulfill their financial responsibility. Through improved scheduling processes and awareness, patients started to understand what they owed and how to pay it.
“Once patients started to understand the process, they were more willing to make the payments upfront,” Wright said. “A lot of them knew ahead of time.”
“My centralized schedulers as part of their regular routine when they were scheduling patients, especially for high-dollar medical imaging procedures or outpatient surgeries, they were doing reminder phone calls or setting the procedure up,” she continued. “They were reminding them to bring whatever their patient responsibility is to the hospital on the day of service.”