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It’s All About Timing

The healthcare industry continues to face a number of challenges when it comes to billing patients, and bringing invoices and payments into better alignment is key among them. After receiving multiple bills and explanations of benefits (EOBs), patients are often confused about what they have paid and how much they still owe.

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Multiple Systems Compound the Issue

Many of these issues stem from manual processes and system-driven consolidation over recent years. What once was a decentralized process unique to each hospital is now a centralized process owned by a single office or department for an entire health system. This confusing process has required hospitals to spend more time reconciling bills while introducing a large opportunity for error in back office reporting.

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Enabling Data Flow is an Important First Step

Integrating the payment process with a hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) system should be a priority. Rebilling and duplication can be dramatically reduced by allowing payment processing technology to talk with the EHR system. This saves health systems time and money while creating a better, less confusing experience for patients.

Where to Start?

Wind River understands the complexities of integrating payments into your EHR system. To begin the process, we will guide you through these five best practices.

1.
Review and Map Out Your Current Processes and Data Flow

As systems grow and more departments become involved, the number of manual processes and data flows multiply. It is important to first understand where you are at in order to identify areas that can be improved. It often helps to have a partner that can help do this across functions to reveal needs more clearly.

2.
Where Possible, Consolidate Systems

Hospitals and clinical environments often have different payment processors. This leads to a fractionated and inefficient system for integrating payments. A key step in this process is selecting a single solution that can meet your current and future needs.

3.
Identify Data Handling Decisions in the Process That Can Influence Integration

Often patients do not pay a bill in its entirety with a single payment. This can be challenging when a payment is received and then needs to be matched and allocated. The more you understand the main data handling decisions around the potential allocation, splitting and reconcilement of the payment, the easier it is to integrate and automate.

4.
Leverage Payment Technology that Simplifies the Complexities

Working with solutions that can work within your process with a view towards the future is important. To determine the best solutions to bring both efficiencies and better patient experiences, you should understand where the data handling decisions are made.

5.
Focus on What Will Provide the Greatest Savings of Time and Effort

By identifying the needs for payment plans and the propensity to pay, you will see a cascade of potential benefits. These insights will help hospitals provide patients with the best payment options and channels while enhancing their likelihood to pay.

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Let us help you integrate your payment process and EHR in order to offer a less confusing experience to your patients.

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