Work Smarter, Spend Less: 5 Ways to Save Time and Money with EBPP

September 10, 2012 Brian Watson

EBPP Saves Time and Money

Emerging IT solutions are helping to make the process of running a succesfful healthcare organization simpler and more economical. 

From Electronic Health Records, to mobile health, to e-connecting and prescribing, new IT and management systems are helping healthcare providers reduce costs and offer higher quality patient care.

On the revenue cycle side, EBPP can be a big efficiency boost for providers.  Not only does it accelerate and enhance revenue collection, it also helps simplify and automate common patient accounting tasks: freeing up cash and employee productivity for other key tasks.

Read on for five ways eStatement solutions can help you simplify revenue collection and save your patient finance department loads of time and money.

1). Eliminates Print and Mail Costs. This one’s pretty intuitive.  A key benefit of online payment software is that it digitizes expensive, resource-intensive statement printing and mailing practices.  

And for healthcare providers the savings can be tremendous.  Consider that a 2011 MGMA study reported that practices send an average of 3.3 bills to each patient they treat.  Each of those bills is a pricy bundle of materials costs (i.e. paper and envelopes), statement processing, printing, and insertion overhead, and mailing expense.

There’s still a cost associated with EBPP, of course.  It’s just not as materials-dependent or inflation-prone.  Or reliant on a mailstream that, through fixed cost commitments and federal cutbacks, is quickly becoming unpredictable in terms of expense. 

EBPP automates and streamlines statement printing and mailing activities, providing open, transparent billing and payment costs (which can be difficult to accurately track and manage in offline billing applications).  Plus a cost advantage that traditional statement processing alone simply can’t match: reducing average cost per statement prepared by up to 50%, according to research from Federal Reserve Bank of New York economist Chris Stefanadis.

2). Reduces Return Mail Expense.  Return mail costs add up quickly.  Statements that bounce back cost providers double on delivery expense –both the initial postage charge and the fees associated with re-mailing.  While the charges associated with return mail handling and the services used to update and improve the address information of returned mail (like skip tracking and Address Change Services) further add to the expense.

Then there’s the opportunity cost.   Delivering mail to the wrong address slows the revenue cycle: increasing Days in A/R, bad debt, and write-offs, and reducing cash on hand. 

Online patient billing and payment doesn’t have that problem.  Email addresses are provided by the patient, verified during registration, and can be updated manually from their portal.  And all email notifications are automated and tracked to confirm delivery and EBPP portal access.

3). Automates Payment.  eStatement solutions move ink-on-paper billing activities to the web for the primary purpose of simplifying, automating, and accelerating statement delivery and balance payment. 

Manual payment collection, processing, and reconciliation is not only time-consuming, it’s also expensive.  Posting payments by hand requires the participation (and productivity) of your customer service staff.  Or, in the case of an automated lockbox program, additional overhead to pay your banking or mail processing partner. 

By automating patient payment, web billing solutions streamline payment processing, settlement control, and reconciliation.  And that not only lets you collect faster, but also reduces operational costs and enables your service staff to redirect time and energy to other critical patient billing activities.

4). Streamlines Patient Service.  On both the patient and provider sides, eStatement solutions are infused with built-in digital efficiencies that make account management much easier.  And less costly.  Best-class EBPP service tools that can save providers both time and money include:

Secure, trackable online communication between patients and your service employees.

Online information management that enables modification of common patient profile details like phone/email, insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Simple eStatement upload and transaction management.

Treatment cost and eligibility estimation.

Patient communication, email messaging, payment, and portal activity tracking and reporting.

5). Reduces Fraud and Compliance Costs.  eStatement solutions act as a failsafe to prevent the kind of fraud and transaction errors that siphon cash from your bottom line.  As a fraud-prevention tool, all credit card payments made by patients are checked against a database of lost or stolen cards to stop payment fraud. 

And to help with compliancy effectiveness and costs, online billing can be used to validate and approve ACH and electronic check payments by checking routing and account information for errors and automatically repairing it if necessary.  As an additional payment safeguard, eBilling solutions can run pay data against internal negative/hot lists to confirm the account is approved to complete the transaction.  Finally, electronic storage and tracking of all online transactions provides simple, efficient dispute oversight and management.

Although it’s right there in the title, the benefits of EBPP go far beyond just billing and payment.  Digitalization and automation also smooth revenue cycle operations, providing results that can help you save time and money.  To learn more about what EBPP can do for your bottom line, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with the eStatement experts at Elite.

EMR?  ePrescribing? Online patient payment?  What next-generation health IT solution are you most excited about? 

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