The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused a surge in Telemedicine visits for practices. For many, it’s a new revenue stream as well as a lifeline for their businesses as the pandemic dramatically reduces office visits. Once you have your telehealth solution up and running, your next obstacle is getting paid for those visits. For the purposes of this blog post, we will be focusing on how to collect patient owed balances by turning your check-in process virtual with the help of electronic billing and payment solutions.
For more information on how to code and bill Medicare or commercial payers, check out our recent webinar with Alpha II.
Office Visits – Collecting Patient Payments
A typical office visit might look something like this: The patient arrives for the appointment and checks-in. Your front office staff confirms the patient details, runs an eligibility check, and collects the patient copay, coinsurance or deductible. The patient is seen by the doctor, a diagnosis is given, a care plan is made, and the patient checks out. Your biller then submits the insurance claim and outstanding balances are billed to the patient via a paper statement.
This process works for an office visit but how do you adapt this to fit the new world of telemedicine where you won’t physically see the patient?
Telehealth Visits – Collecting Patient Payments
The trick is reworking your office visit workflow into a virtual environment. That’s where electronic billing and payment solutions can help. By leveraging online billing and online bill pay, your new workflow will look something like this.
Patient sets up a telehealth visit. A link to join the session as well as a link to pay for the visit are sent to the patient. The patient pays via a secure, online bill pay portal. Patient joins the telehealth session a diagnosis is given, and a care plan made. Your biller submits the insurance claim and any outstanding balances are billed to the patient via an electronic statement with online payment options.
Electronic billing and payment solutions give you the flexibility to adapt to changes you may be experiencing in your practice today and in the future.
The Benefits of Electronic Billing and Payment Solutions Beyond Telehealth
Electronic billing and payment solutions can also be used beyond telehealth to help streamline operations and speed revenue generation for your practice.
According to a study by Consumer Healthcare Payments 70% of healthcare consumers would like the ease and convenience of paying their bill online. From mortgages to credit card bills to electric bills, many of your patients are managing the bulk of their bills and payments through the internet. By delivering electronic statements, you’re increasing visibility with your patients and decreasing the likelihood that your statements go unpaid because they’re either lost or misplaced.
Online bill pay services allow patients to pay their balances with your practice securely. This frees up staff time, increases payment velocity, and adds offers a new level of convenience to busy patient lives.
By partnering with an electronic billing and payment solution vendor, you can reduce the administrative burden on your staff when it comes to patient billing to almost zero, improve your patient experience, and maximize the likelihood that a patient that wants to pay their bill can do so.