What's Good for Them is Good for You: Discover How Your Organization Stands to Gain from Patient Friendly Billing Practices

Call it good business, or simply good karma. Hospital systems that commit to putting their patients first in financial communications can improve patient satisfaction and their bottom line. Here’s a look at why these investments lead to better financial outcomes.

Investment: Patient-friendly statements
Outcome: Fewer customer service calls

Historically, financial communications in this industry have been provider and payer centric, meaning the language and structure of statements and documentation were geared toward trade audiences. Little consideration was given to patients who might need to review and interpret payment-related materials in order to take action.

Today, more patients are directly responsible for at least a portion of the payments required for their care. By improving billing statements so patients can make sense of costs and payment requirements, providers eliminate barriers to collect. Patients who understand what they owe and what they’re paying for are more likely to pay promptly and in full. Likewise, they’re also less likely to require customer service support, reducing staff workload.

Investment: Automated, third-party billing distribution solutions
Outcome: Faster collections process, reduced busy work for staff

With the overwhelming volume of outbound billing statements, the traditional ‘print, fold, stuff and stamp’ mailing process can become a burden to staff and a barrier to prompt payment collection. Proactive healthcare organizations that are focused on improving the revenue cycle are no longer in the mailroom business; instead, they partner with vendors that can quickly and accurately disseminate billing statements.

Today’s third-party billing solutions easily alleviate the tasks of statement mailing. These state-of-the-art bill printing and distribution services absorb all the conventional, time-consuming tasks associated with mailings, eliminating the need for internal staff to handle the paper shuffle. These services receive billing data electronically from hospital systems and, using modern automation, print and mail statements expediently. This means patients get statements more quickly, aiding in faster turnaround time for collections.

Investment: Address scrubbing solutions
Outcome: Minimized staff labor & better patient communications

Outdated mailing addresses— and manual processes for handling undeliverable mail— can become real impediments to collecting payments.

Hospital systems investing in patient friendly practices integrate address correction services into the core of their statement mailing processes. By outsourcing these services to a qualified third-party vendor that integrates address cleansing technology, providers automatically collect and correct more bad addresses greatly improving the accuracy of patient address lists. When patients receive billing statements promptly, they are able to pay and more quickly interact with their providers as needed.

Ready to do right by your patients and your hospital system? Look to Emdeon ExpressBill Services as the single source for your patient billing needs.

Emdeon ExpressBill Services provides comprehensive solutions to better manage the patient billing process. From the creation of easy-to-read patient statements to the integration of automation throughout the billing process, Emdeon ExpressBill Services streamlines all aspects of patient billing, making it friendlier for patients and easier for you.

Ready to improve cash flow by automating your outbound statement printing and mailing? Call 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) or visit us online to learn how Emdeon ExpressBill Services can improve cash flow through prompt, easy-to-understand billing.

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The Great Expectations of Payment Integrity: Practical Solutions to Take You from Anticipation of Write-offs to Expectation of Full Payments

Unfortunately, with today’s healthcare system, sometimes providers have to chase payments, just to collect even a portion of what is owed to them.

While undesirable, it’s understandable how this inverted standard took hold. With the industry’s complicated fee structures, multilayered services and contracted relationships with multiple payers, providers are constantly challenged to achieve payment integrity.

Emdeon is aiming to change all that by infusing the principle—and practice—of payment integrity into the healthcare revenue cycle one hospital system at a time with Emdeon Payment Integrity Services. These targeted services help providers identify and collect underpayments, aging receivables and denied claims from payers.

Already deeply integrated into providers’ businesses, Emdeon knows the first step in achieving this goal is to meet providers where they are now—down in the trenches trying to get paid. The more revenue that can be collected, the healthier and stronger a hospital system will be to make the shift to true payment integrity.

To that end, Emdeon Payment Integrity Services offers comprehensive, responsive solutions to help collect what’s owed.

Emdeon Audit & Recovery Services: provides actionable analysis and customized solutions that allow providers to make sure reimbursements from payers meet contracted rates to reduce the risk of underpayments
Emdeon Accounts Receivable Management: extends the capabilities of providers’ staffs, with focus on collecting payment on aging receivables from payers
Emdeon Denial & Appeals Services: gives providers practical, tactical support to successfully appeal denied claims and reduce write-offs

Often during the process of audit and recovery and through implementation of effective accounts receivable management, providers are able to identify and address patterns of problems, and methodically eliminate them from their infrastructure. Though responsive tactics are likely required on an ongoing basis, providers are eventually able to look ahead to integrate integrity into their processes in order to prevent future issues and improve performance. Emdeon has a solution for prevention for providers ready to move forward with ‘great expectations’ of getting paid.

Emdeon Performance Improvement & Prevention Services: integrates integrity initiatives into providers’ overall processes to prevent payment problems and repetitive issues related to denials in the long term.

Of course, providers must be active participants on the journey to payment integrity. Even when backed by services like those offered by Emdeon, provider leadership and team members must take substantive strides to make the shift. Here are some items that should be on the To Do lists of every provider seeking to integrate payment integrity.

Internal audit: a thorough self-examination to determine organizational strengths and weaknesses and assess potential system improvements
Clinical component: infusion of clinical standards into the billing process to better address issues of medical necessity, etc. that often lead to denied claims
External observation: connect with other provider organizations that have achieved payment integrity to gain applicable insights and ideas
Staff training: investments in internal staff to ensure they are knowledgeable, engaged and equipped to best identify and address payment issues
Open communications: integrated methods for keeping all internal team members informed and interconnected, so that all departments work cohesively toward a common goal

Want help identifying and collecting underpaid, late and denied claims? Call 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) or visit us online to learn how Emdeon Payment Integrity Services can protect your bottom line.

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HFMA Webinar: "Creating a Patient Financial Profile Prior to Patient Arrival to Increase Up-Front Payments and Reduce Bad Debt"

Attend an HFMA Webinar to Learn More

As patients bear more responsibility for direct payment of their healthcare costs, there is an increased financial risk that hospital systems may not be fully compensated for services they provide.

Traditional revenue cycle management strategies typically triage this balance sheet issue mid-way through or after the patient encounter. Unfortunately, this approach limits the options available to providers to maximize payment and reimbursement.

In this session, Lakeland Healthcare will explore a new strategy for optimizing the financial health of provider organizations. Using a Patient Financial Profile System, providers can reduce their risk of denied claims, underpayments, bad debt and more easily identify and forecast charity care cases before the patient even receives medical treatment.

Providers will learn how to create a comprehensive Patient Financial Profile System using the following data points:
• Address verification
• Commercial insurance and managed care eligibility and benefits verification
• Patient financial responsibility estimation
• Credit Score
• Healthcare Risk Score
• Income
• Hospital Payment history
• Federal Poverty Guidelines

After This Webinar You Will:
• Understand how to create a Patient Financial Profile System for your organization
• Learn how to maximize revenue from claim reimbursements and patient payments.

Using the Patient Financial Profile System, you will discover how to optimize your pre-admission workflow by creating three categories: Patient Payment, Charity Predicted and Medicaid Eligible.

Register now to attend an HFMA Webinar March 16th 3:00 to 4:30 pm EST to hear more about this topic! Lakeland HealthCare will share best practices and recommendations for using the Patient Financial Profile System.

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Visit Emdeon at a Tradeshow near You

Emdeon exhibits at many tradeshows throughout the year where you can learn more about our full suite of Revenue and Payment Cycle Management Solutions, as well as, new products and features on the horizon. Come visit us at the following tradeshows:

SEHAM: March 2-4; Tunica, MS
NC HFMA: March 9-11; Pinehurst, NC
AZ HFMA Spring Conference: March 23-25; Chandler, AZ
North / South California HFMA: March 23-25; Sacramento, CA
HFMA Texas State Conference: March 27-29; Austin, TX

Greater Kansas City Medical Mgr. Assoc: April 6; Overland Park, KS
Hudson Valley NY HFMA Annual: April 7; Tarrytown, NY

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Make a Statement When Sending Statements

Maximize Your Messaging with Versatile, Affordable Patient Statement Inserts

When it comes to keeping patients informed, there’s no such thing as “too much communication”—especially regarding billing and payment. That’s why it’s important for providers to use every point of patient contact as an opportunity to meaningfully connect.

Did you know that patient statements can offer frequent and cost effective opportunities to communicate with your patients? Every patient receives them; every patient is compelled to open, read and keep them. With the inclusion of informational inserts, letters or brochures, your patient statement mailings can become more than a basic communication of financial status and expectation. They can become effective communication tools that reach an attentive audience.

Here are just a few of the many ways hospitals can use statement inserts to maximize patient friendly communications.

• Highlight key points about the statement itself. Inserts provide a convenient way to explain updates or changes to patient statements. When a statement format changes, patients often need guidance to understand their new bill. By creating a “Guide to Understanding Your Bill” that includes a picture of the newly designed sample statement with a brief explanation of where to find key pieces of information, you can cut down on the number of phone calls from patients asking "how to read" their new statement.

• Announce new financial services, policies or procedures. Inserts can also be used to convey important news regarding services, policies or procedures relevant to patient billing. Adding new bill payment options for patients to pay over the phone or online? Adding an insert in your patient statements highlighting the relevant phone number and bill payment website can help drive adoption of these new services.

• Share updates or reminders about hospital events, locations or programs. Inserts can announce news regarding the opening of new facilities or clinic locations or the launch of expanded services. In addition, they can also help remind recipients of previously announced news, reinforcing overall patient communications campaigns.

• Offer patients the chance to submit input. Inserts can be used to collect input or information from recipients. You can create a quick survey to get feedback or encourage recipients to submit current contact or insurance information. The completed form can simply be included when payments are mailed back.

Another compelling reason to use inserts? They’re cost effective. Rather than sending separate mailings to announce important news and information, hospitals can power-pack updates into their patient statements. For only the cost of printing, inserts maximize the usefulness of statement mailings exponentially.

Also, statement inserts support the HFMA’s PATIENT FRIENDLY BILLING® initiatives. Patient friendly billing practices advocate making information accessible while reaching patients frequently and directly with pertinent updates.

Make a positive statement about your commitment to patient friendly billing practices. Call 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) or visit us online to discover how Emdeon Patient Communications can provide companion print and mail services to keep your patients informed.

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Attention HFMA Chapter Officers and Leaders!

Thought Leadership Opportunities for your Local Chapter

As a leading provider of revenue and payment cycle management solutions, Emdeon is excited to provide thought leadership speakers for your local chapter! We have visited many chapters so far this year for speaking sessions on topics such as Patient Responsibility Estimation Tips and Tricks, Denial Management Best Practices, Patient Billing & Payment Best Practices and more. We’re ready to visit your chapter!

To see our full topic list, available speakers and arrange an Emdeon speaker for your local chapter visit us online today!

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