Consumer Driven HealthCare

Rapid Innovation Has Restructured the Value Chain of Radiology Revenue Cycle Payments

The US health care payment system processes $1.9 trillion dollars a year and is being transformed at this very moment, even though many in the industry are unaware and unprepared for the transformation. The antiquated business to business systems and philosophy used by most radiology practices and billing companies is outdated, inefficient and ineffective.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) recently released estimates of health insurance coverage for the U.S. Based on this data, 24.3% of persons under 65 years of age with private health insurance were enrolled in a plan with all or a portion of their medical expenditures being consumer-directed.  It is predicted that, with the new healthcare legislation and other economic impacts, the percentage will rise to 37.4% by 2015.

This is a clear indication that your practice’s revenue stream has changed. This new patient class, referred to as patient responsibility, is willing to pay their bill. The key is to facilitate an easy, flexible, fast and convenient way for these new and growing health care consumers to pay for their health care. Whether at the place of service or through subsequent billing, as with any other consumer purchase, you need to provide a fast and convenient way for them to pay for your services

Historically, billing companies and radiology practices have designed their billing systems around wholesale (business-to-business) relationships with insurers. Analysis suggests that unless radiologists can raise payment rates from consumers, the increase will lead to a rise of two to four percentage points in the providers’ bad-debt expense (as a percentage of revenues) by 2015.

ADVOCATE has already re-tooled their systems and the way we interact with patients to manage the radiology revenue cycle successfully. Our patient billing portal allow patients web access to their statements and allows them to make payments online.  We have redesigned our patient statements to push people to pay by credit card via the web. We host client specific websites to make payment by credit card as easy as possible and we redesigned our phone system to accommodate credit card payments and to inform people of the web payment option.

The results arre impressive – credit card collections are up 300% and patient feedback is very positive as the actual patient quotes below demonstrate:

“Love that you have this website to pay my bill. Wish more medical services had this opportunity. Great idea!!!!!”

“I just wanted to say thank you for having this online service available! It is easy to use and very convenient! I have paid my bill in full today. Thanks again!! “