Effective billing while raising patient satisfaction: A common sense approach

Billing, even more so than other areas of healthcare, has experienced a steady stream of seismic changes over the past two decades. Payors, providers, patients and regulators have been forced to adapt, again and again, to tremendous alterations to their expectations, participation and operating processes relative to medical billing. 

As part of our "Countdown to HIMSS'16" series, we spoke with Ric Sinclair, Vice President of Product at ZirMed (HIMSS'16 booth #6647), an industry leader in the fields of revenue cycle management and billing since 1999. He not only made the argument that healthcare providers can effectively collect on their billings while increasing their patient's satisfaction, but that they must effectively collect on their billings while increasing their patient's satisfaction.     

Free: How do you see payment expectations from outside industries such as retail and hospitality impact a patient’s set of payment expectations in healthcare? 

Sinclair: If you think about it, healthcare is the only industry where 90 percent of a provider’s revenue is collected after the time of care. If you just think about that and consider how consumers are used to paying their bills before goods or services are rendered. It can create a little bit of a catastrophe when a consumer has already received services and there is no transparency in terms of pricing and 30, 60, 90 days later the consumer receives a bill that says he or she is liable for what many times can be thousands of dollars of procedures.

It may be a cliché, but to get past this issue, it is simply a matter of common sense and following retail best practices. When people say the phrase "consumerization of healthcare," all that means is healthcare is starting to become more sensical, or more logical, and we are starting to treat patients like consumers where they expect a bill to be easy to understand what they are going to owe before services are rendered and then they expect a logical way to pay their bill from a mobile device with easy payment plans.

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billing, HIMSS, HIMSS'16, patient engagement, patient satisfaction, payment estimate, ZirMed


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