Every physician’s office has experienced dramatic changes this year because of COVID-19, from how care is delivered to shifting away from physical waiting rooms. Most notably, visit volumes have yet to regain pre-pandemic levels after declining 60% by April 2020.

Despite this patient volume decline and the uncertainty surrounding the virus, medical practices must maintain their financial health in order to stay open and keep seeing patients. To do so, it’s imperative that they continue to collect copays and patient balances without sacrificing the safety of their patients and staff.

Automated patient intake management is the best way for practices to achieve those goals through the following three solutions.

Give patients flexible payment options

With continuing jobless claims totaling $15.5 million, budgets are tight for many patients. Offering them convenient and flexible payment options is especially helpful in providing needed financial relief.

Payment plans: Instead of billing patients for large balances, consider offering automated payment plans to help them better manage their balances in challenging financial times. Payment plans support those patients who need financial assistance by allowing them to make monthly payments that work for their budget. Payment plans also give patients visibility into their payment history, which helps them stay on track with their financial agreements.

Online payments: Give patients the option to pay copays and balances from their own laptop or mobile device before their appointment. Paying bills online is expected these days, and healthcare expenses should be no different. It’s not only more convenient, it also helps reduce contact between patients and staff at the front desk. It also means patients won’t have to remember to bring payment to their appointment.

Verify insurance verification before the visit

Verifying patients’ primary and secondary insurance prior to their appointment can help practices mitigate potential insurance issues ahead of time and streamline the verification process. Advance coverage verification also allows practices to more easily identify copay and remaining deductible amounts. Additionally, using automated insurance verification can increase office efficiency and reduce the likelihood of pending or denied claims so practices get paid more quickly.

Offer contactless patient intake

A contactless intake workflow allows patients to complete all of their necessary intake tasks, such as updating insurance information, making payments and signing consents, without requiring face-to-face contact with practice staff. It’s a convenient and safe way to prompt patients to pay copays and balances on their own device before the visit, and staff can remotely manage the entire intake process. Ultimately, contactless intake gives patients with a safer, streamlined appointment registration experience, making them feel more comfortable about keeping their in-person appointments.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made financial stability for healthcare organizations more important than ever. Phreesia’s Zero-Contact Intake offering helps medical practices meet the financial challenges of COVID-19 and beyond by creating a safe, contactless intake process, while helping patients conveniently manage their financial obligations. To learn more about Zero-Contact Intake and Phreesia’s COVID-19 efforts, click here.