The cost of managing patient AR can be a drain on any Medical Billing Company’s budget. In our previous blog post, we covered ways to reduce the effort and cost of manual data processing and managing payment plans. In this article, we cover ways to reduce costs associated with patient billing questions and inquiries.
Decrease Billing Questions and Inquires
For medical billers who regularly send patient statements, managing an influx of patient calls is a costly disruption to your business operation. Medical billing specialists, who create the most value in managing claims, are often pulled away from that high-value work to answer routine questions about patient bills. And the average cost to handle a patient inquiry is more than $5 a call. Below are some steps to decrease the number of billing questions your company receives.
Send Better Billing Statements
Many medical billing statements lack the type of information patients need to make a decision about whether to pay a bill or call to seek more information about their charges. In fact, 70% of patients are confused by their medical bills. Most statements lack consumer-friendly descriptions of service and fail to provide a detailed accounting of insurance payments, past patient payments, deductions, and adjustments. The first step to reducing billing inquiry calls is to provide a more detailed explanation of services, a thorough accounting of the claims, what has been paid, and why the patient owes the balance.
Provide an Interactive Digital Payment Experience
97% of the US population have mobile phones and 85% have a smartphone. We use our phones to communicate, get information, manage our calendars and pay bills. Many medical providers have a very basic payment page on their website but lack the type of consumer-level payment and digital billing experience people have come to expect. To decrease the number of inquiries, implement an interactive digital billing and payment system that can provide answers to common questions, provide billing and payment history, and deliver 24×7 access to manage and pay medical bills through any device.
Automate Inbound Calls
Every month medical billing companies receive a flood of phone calls from patients who have questions about their bills, want to pay their statements, or want to make sure their insurance was billed. As mentioned above, a detailed statement- digital or paper- can answer many questions and prevent a surge of patient inquiries. However, to decrease the effort of handling inquiries from people who do call, it is possible to automate payments and frequently asked questions over the phone. Offering a way for people to have self-service access to the information they need, phone automation is a cost-effective way to handle an influx of calls.