Getting Close to the Point of No Return (No Return Mail, That Is!)

The High Cost of Undeliverable Mail—and How to Avoid It

“Return to sender, address unknown…” The Elvis Presley song of long ago tells of heartbreak over a letter that never reaches its recipient. In today’s world, hospitals sing a different tune about returned mail—one of breaking the bank, rather than breaking a heart, as the cost of undeliverable mail rises.

In addition to costing your organization valuable time and money, undeliverable patient statements are also a red flag indicating you may never receive payment. A double wammy.

Still wading through a mountain of undeliverable mail at your hospital? Here is a quick list of the various internal costs that are likely burdening your bottom line.

• Labor—Manual handling of stacks of returned mail and United States Postal Service® (USPS) notices, as well as the time and effort spent attempting to obtain address corrections and update your system
• Lost postage—The cost of original postage spent on mail that never reached intended recipients
• Lost materials—The cost of designing and printing statements including paper, envelopes, printing and processing expenses
• Third-party support services—The cost of hiring outside services to investigate and update patient addresses
• Re-mailing—The cost associated with printing and mailing statements two or even three times until the correct address is found

If you are still manually processing undeliverable mail at your facility, you might just write these activities off as a cost of doing business. But it doesn’t have to be that way. To help providers optimize their patient billing and payment collection systems, Emdeon developed Emdeon Return Mail Manager to help providers save time and speed collections by automating the skip tracing process for undeliverable mail. Instead of receiving returned mail at your facility, each piece is returned directly to our processing center to identify the current address and resend the updated statement.

One of the most powerful benefits is that Emdeon Return Mail Manager can quickly search various address databases to find the correct mailing address and automatically update the patient record in the Emdeon ExpressBill Services database to prevent the error from occurring again.

Are you ready to eliminate 100% of your return mail handling and collect more patient payments, faster? Visit us online or simply call 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) to learn more.

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Emdeon eCashiering: Nine Things You Need to Know

While your hospital will likely never advertise a Labor Day sale on flu shots or double-coupon day for knee surgeries, the healthcare industry is increasingly adopting retail-like processes in tandem with patients taking on more direct payment responsibility. Since the patient billing lifecycle is changing, shifting earlier in the patient encounter, we have entered an era where patients commonly pay an estimate of their financial responsibility during admission.

While some payment solutions in the industry are designed to only accept payments with limited reporting and reconciliation functions, Emdeon eCashiering is redefining and redesigning the way payments are received by hospitals nationwide to provide more revenue management capabilities and streamline workflows. With a larger share of revenue shifting from payer to patient, it’s important to maximize each and every payment collection opportunity.

You may already be familiar with Emdeon eCashiering, but you might not know about all of the ways it can help improve cash flow, shorten the reimbursement cycle and reduce bad debt for your organization. Below includes nine reasons why you should consider adding Emdeon eCashiering to your patient billing and payment collection system.

1. Simplifies point-of-service collections
As patients bear more responsibility for payment, providers are increasingly making requests for payment a standard part of the registration process. Emdeon eCashiering makes it simple to collect payments on the frontline. Staff members who handle registration now have an easy-to-use tool for receiving payments up-front or collecting on account balances as well. And that’s good news, as research shows, providers only get 60 cents on the dollar once an account hits 120 days versus 90 cents from Point-of-Service (POS) collections.

2. It makes real-time account data viewable system-wide.
With Emdeon eCashiering, the most recent, accurate patient account information is viewable system-wide. Information is not held in a silo with delayed viewing across the system. Staff members can access the latest account balances and payments, empowering them to take action and answer questions as needed at the moment.

3. It empowers staff to accept payments system-wide, anytime
Thanks to that system-wide accessibility, Emdeon eCashiering also makes collections possible at any time. From call centers to anywhere on the floor, payments can be collected and processed accurately and conveniently.

4. It provides greater cash controls and automated cash control reporting
Hospitals are not typical retail environments, but Emdeon eCashiering is engineered to fill in the blanks by integrating cash controls into existing processes. Emdeon eCashiering can require users to validate cash drawer amounts at the start of shifts, reconcile the drawers as shifts end and even prompt real-time alerts if discrepancies are found.

5. It enables simple refunds and voids
With the increase in pre- and point-of-service collection, refunds may be needed as patient payment estimates are adjusted due to shifting deductible balances or when procedures are cancelled or changed. With Emdeon eCashiering, transactions can be voided before settling, eliminating unnecessary data from showing up in the system, and refunds can be processed electronically without the hassle of issuing a check. Additionally, Emdeon eCashiering makes it possible to assign refunding capabilities only to select staff members (e.g. supervisors) as a safeguard.

6. It creates opportunities for proactive collections
Emdeon eCashiering allows hospitals set up payment plans responsively to fit the patient’s ability to pay. Recurring payments may be structured, easily altered and viewable in real-time throughout the system. Likewise, payment discounts—for example, offering a discount for up-front payments or payments paid within 30 days —may be offered with ease. This flexibility makes collections more productive and efficient.

7. It links multi-site systems for enterprise revenue management reporting
Does your organization have multiple campuses and satellite clinics? Emdeon eCashiering is designed with you in mind. With real-time reporting viewable through the web-based portal, payment terminals are linked at all locations for truly intelligent, up-to-the-minute revenue management and system-wide tracking of business analytics. This makes it possible to quickly identify individuals or departments underperforming in collections. This is a very valuable capability for hospitals that place a high importance on patient liabilities and reducing uncollected cash.

8. It offers custom reporting to help you track and respond
Versatile, custom reporting lets you pinpoint the information you really need out of 41 data elements captured. Additionally, you can view those data elements in whatever form works best for you: graphical or tabular, by department or by timeframe. Comparative department stats can be quickly accessed as a helpful tool for hospitals that encourage interdepartmental competitiveness for collections.

9. It allows role assignments for best management and control
Though universally accessible, Emdeon eCashiering offers functionality that may be best approached through tiered usage. By allowing the assignment of roles, eCashiering helps build in internal checks and balances for best use. For example, it may be set up to allow most associates to collect payments, while only supervisors may issue refunds.

Do these points register for your organization? Make the switch to Emdeon eCashiering today. Contact us anytime to get started. Visit us online or simply call 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) to learn more.

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Is Your Hospital at Risk of PCI Compliance Violations?

If you accept credit card payments from patients at the point of service or online, you need to understand that all payment processors are not created equal. Your merchant processor can affect efficiency, profitability and overall security, so choose wisely.

Keep an Eye on PCI Compliance
Security is always top-of-mind in hospitals, from protecting patients’ health records to their billing information. Sometimes it is taken for granted or assumed that all companies selling merchant services are PCI (payment card industry) compliant. However, that’s a dangerous assumption; you’re only as secure as the partners you work with. You must be certain your payment processor adheres to data storage and security guidelines and that the appropriate firewalls are in place. Falling short in PCI compliance can be costly on many levels. According to, “The payment brands may, at their discretion, fine an acquiring bank $5,000 to $100,000 per month for PCI compliance violations. The banks will most likely pass this fine on downstream until it eventually hits the merchant. Furthermore, the bank will also most likely either terminate your relationship or increase transaction fees.”

Aside from the costly fees associated with doing business with a merchant processor that isn’t PCI compliant, your hospital might also be at risk of exposing sensitive patient billing information too.

In addition to steering clear of merchant processors that aren’t PCI compliant, you should also be aware of other common pitfalls associated with fly-by-night merchant processors.

Watch Out for Bait-and-Switch Rates
There’s a reason they are called “teaser rates.” Some merchant processors use low introductory rates to lure you in, only to hike the rates soon after the relationship is established or add fees along the way. Seek out processors that offer full disclosure of rates and provide a lower overall cost and effective rate from the start.

Beware of Long-Term Obligations
If you are required to sign a long-term contract to initiate a working relationship, be on guard. Companies that demand lengthy agreements will likely levy heavy fees should you need to cancel before term. Some merchant processors are more flexible, working on short term or month-to-month agreements that never lock you into situations or lead you into costly fees.

Demand Clear Reporting & Support
As with any solid business relationship, set high standards for service. Amidst the array of potential partners you have to choose from, there are those that take a consultative approach, provide customizable reporting tools and offer support. You need access to clear reports and statements online, in addition to support services to promptly answer any issues that may arise.

Prioritize Implementation
Find a merchant processor that is sensitive to the fact that your organization is already entrenched in IT solutions and systems that run your business and is willing to work with you to ensure smooth implementation and integration. They should be with you each step of the way, integrating systems and determining the best solutions to help you collect more of what you are owed, while keeping costs low and efficiency within your hospital high.

If you’d like peace of mind knowing your merchant processor is not only PCI compliant, but also a trusted leader in the industry, Emdeon Merchant Services and Chase Paymentech are here to help. Emdeon is collaborating with Chase Paymentech, a global leader of payment processing, to simplify patient payment processing and integrate seamlessly with Emdeon solutions. Call 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) or visit us online to learn more today.

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Cash flow important? Get paid TWO (even three) times as fast!

With Emdeon ePayment, you can eliminate the hassle of paper-based claims payments – replacing checks with payments from Emdeon ePayment enrolled payers that are directly deposited into your bank account. There is no cost to you to use Emdeon ePayment and enrollment is free!

Did you know that on average, it can take up to 15 days to receive a check in the mail and wait for the funds to clear? Using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Emdeon ePayment directly deposits your claims payments, usually making them available in less than five business days.

In addition to helping you get paid faster, Emdeon ePayment streamlines the enrollment process. Instead of enrolling separately for each payer, you can simply select each and every participating payer all at once. And with Emdeon ePayment, you can quickly locate Electronic Remittance Advices (ERAs) and Explanation of Payment (EOP) information with the click of a mouse instead of digging through mounds of paperwork. Using an online application which is FREE for Emdeon ePayment users, you can easily search, view, print and download the ERA.

You can also consolidate payment processing workflows with our other Emdeon solutions. Emdeon Payment Automation helps providers fill the gap while some payers continue to mail paper-based checks and remittance advice. By scanning and digitizing paper-based payments and remittance advice, providers can accept claims payments more easily and reconciliation is simplified. Using both Emdeon ePayment and Emdeon Payment Automation together, providers can collect virtually all claims payments electronically and receive virtually all Remittance Advice (RA) as a downloadable 835 file using Emdeon Payment Manager.

Enroll today with Emdeon ePayment to get your claims payments more quickly. Call 866.506.2830 or visit to enroll today. Emdeon’s customer service team can help you transition seamlessly and easily. Remember, there is no cost to you to use Emdeon ePayment and enrollment is free.

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See Our Industry-Leading Statement Printing System in Action!

With the addition of the Pitney Bowes® IntelliJet™ 30 Printing System, Emdeon deployed the next generation in printing technology and patient communications production. Rarely does one investment raise the bar for the entire industry, but that's what we've accomplished by adding the Pitney Bowes® IntelliJet™ Printing System.

Curious to see it in action? Watch this video to see how Emdeon ExpressBill Services is raising the bar for fast, full color patient statements.

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Meet the Emdeon Patient Billing and Payment Solutions Team!

In this challenging economic climate, hospitals like yours are working to optimize their patient billing and payment collection systems. With hospital margins compressing and many hospitals operating with profit margins between two and three percent1, the need to find more economical ways to print and mail patient statements and collect those payments has never been more important.

Since the status quo doesn’t cut it anymore, Emdeon developed an integrated set of solutions to help you cut costs and collect more, faster. Want to learn more about Emdeon Patient Connect? Our patient billing team is ready to help your organization by providing a patient billing optimization consultation. Ready to meet the team?

Karen Friemoth, RVP Emdeon Patient Billing and Payment Solutions

Karen is the Regional Vice President for Emdeon's Patient Billing & Payment Solutions group. Karen is a healthcare industry veteran and has worked with providers across the country to improve the financial communication design process through integrated, online billing and payment methods. In her spare time, Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, skiing, running and interior design.
• Territory: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin
• Phone: 419.290.3419
• Email:

Leara Anbar, Mid-Atlantic Account Executive

Leara has been with Emdeon for over 16 years and has carried many different roles throughout her tenure. From production to customer service management and project management to sales, Leara understands the complexities of the print and mail industry and the healthcare revenue cycle as well. Her passion is building great relationships with customers while helping them meet and exceed their business goals. If you can’t find Leara at a local HFMA conference, you’ll find her on a mountain bike trail pursuing a new hobby that she loves.
• Territory: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia
• Phone: 419.350.9141
• Email:

Don Bales, National Accounts Account Executive

Don Bales joined the Emdeon team in 1998 and has 20+ years of industry experience. Working with large hospital systems across the country, Don helps providers optimize their outbound patient billing and inbound payment collections systems to maximize collection of patient receivables. Don is also a former United States Army Officer and has a Bachelor degree from Indiana University.
• Territory: Texas and National Accounts
• Phone: 812.216.7498
• Email:

Matt Crawley, Western Region Account Executive

Matt Crawley is the Sales Account Executive for the West Region in the Patient Billing and Payment division. Matt has been with Emdeon for over eight years focusing on self pay solutions - helping providers collect patient payments effectively and efficiently. Matt enjoys spending time with his three children, cooking, and hiking in the mountains of Utah near his home.
• Territory: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming and Washington
• Phone: 801.870.2191
• Email:

Dan Hartnett, Northeast Region Account Executive

Dan has over 21 years of experience, is an HFMA member and assists healthcare providers improve revenue cycle processes while accelerating self pay collections. Dan is married and has three children. Along with spending time with his family, he enjoys coaching his children’s sports teams and boating.
• Territory: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont
• Phone: 419.466.9243
• Email:

With budgeting season almost upon us, now is the perfect time to re-examine your current patient billing and payment collection system. By providing patients with more ways to pay while automating payment acceptance and posting, your organization can accelerate cash flow while saving loads of time and money. Contact your Account Executive today to schedule a complimentary consultation.


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