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Resolve My - White Paper Medical v2 1-3-2012

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White Paper for ResolveMy.com: Transforming patient self-pay collections into a dignified, patient-friendly, efficient, online internet process.

White Paper for ResolveMy.com: Transforming patient self-pay collections into a dignified, patient-friendly, efficient, online internet process.

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  • 1. “Patients want to resolve what they owe and they want to come back to you.” White Paper Transforming Patient Self-Pay Collections into a Dignified, Patient-Friendly, Efficient, Online Internet Process Improve Cash Flow and Lower Collection Costs 3 January, 2012Contact:Richard Zizian JD DirectorResolveMy.Com Inc.1205 Pacific Highway, Suite 401San Diego, CA 92101(619) 236-0569 directrzizian@resolvemy.com 1RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 2. Table of Contents Preface ...................................................................................................................................... 3 Snapshot of the Current Medical Accounts Receivable Operating Environment …………………….… 4 Introduction and Executive Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 Starting With The Solution ……………………………………………………………………………………….……….…... 6 Features of a Full Service Automated Online Collection Platform …….……………………………………. 6 PatientPayPort External Clout-Based Collection Platform …………………………………………………….….. 6 Attributes of the Dashboard ……..…………………………………………………………………………….………...…. 7 Recommended Approaches To Using Online Collection Technology …………………..………… 7 Patient Accounts Receivable Pipe …………………………………..………………………………………………..... 8 The Psychology of Patient Messaging and Communication ………………………………………..… 8 Understanding The Wide Range of Collection Treatments ………………………………..………………. 8 Treatment Table …………………………………………………………………..………………………………………..……… 9 Two Common Denominators of An Inefficient Collection System .…………………………….…….……… 10 Self-Pays Are Becoming Too Important To Ignore or Undermanage ……………………………...…… 11 Why Hospitals Are Lagging Behind In Collection Technology ………………………………………..……. 11 Why Patients Avoid Their Obligations To You ……………………………………………………...………..…….... 12 How To Improve Your Self-Pay Collection Process …………………………………………….………..….………. 13 Four Critical Areas of Account Receivable Improvement ………….……………………………….….…….. 14 Respect, Dignity and Compassion ……………………………………………………………………….……………..…… 14 Knowing The Difference Between Patient Desire and Patient Ability ……………………………………… 15 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…… 15 2RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 3. PREFACE GOOD MORNING – BY THE WAY…YOU NO LONGER HAVE INTERNET OR EMAIL AT WORK!Imagine walking into your office today and being told that you no longer have the benefit of email orthe Internet to do your work. That’s right, back to 1980’s methods of communicating - telephone calls,leaving messages, snail-mail, pink message slips strewn across your desk, and waiting for the mailroomdelivery. You would find no logic in this antiquated process and your loss of effectiveness andproductivity would be immediate and intolerable.Well then, ………..why as a hospital executive are you asking your accounts receivable department towork in such an outdated environment? Your A/R Department is over-burdened with a manuallyinefficient process. No matter how dedicated, skilled or qualified your collection staff is, they cannotrise to the level of cost-effective efficiency you must have. Technology has evolved to such a statetoday that there is no justifiable reason for not having your patient self-pay collection process onlineas an automated, patient-friendly process. Automated, Internet-based, A/R resolution platforms arehighly affordable, extremely efficient ,diligent and secure. By selecting an online collection platform atthe outset, we believe you can transfer up to 80% of the collection burden online, to achievemaximum efficiency. With an online accounts receivable resolution platform, one employee can handlethousands of accounts per day online and immediately become a valuable resource in the 21st Centurybusiness climate.Medical Self-Pay Accounts Receivable Efficiency Challenges are Very Identifiable: Hospitals generate more new patient-pay accounts per month than you can effectively manage on a manual basis without adding more overhead. The balance on self-pay accounts are, more often than not, too small of an amount to justify collecting for very long with the cost of human labor. The greater the human-to-human collection effort, (whether your own staff or a 3rd party collectors) the greater the risk of losing the patient relationship forever. 3RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 4. A SNAP SHOT OF THE CURRENT MEDICAL ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT:If you are currently evaluating why you should consider an automated online collection solution, thefollowing information on the current state of hospital financial operating environment may helpsupport your decision.  “Out of every 11 patients billed, only 1 will pay within the first billing cycle” (Advisory Board)  “80% of hospitals reported bad debt growth of 6% to 20% and it is projected to get worse” (TransUnion)  “40% of hospital executives are focusing on improving collections and 20% are focused on lowering bad debt” (TransUnion)  “50% fewer workers signed up for higher premium insurance plans thereby increasing self- pay deductibles and co-pays.” (Watson Wyatt)  “Of the unhappy patients, 90% will not return.” (Press Ganey)  “It costs 10 times as much to attract new patients as it does to keep current ones. It cost $10,000 to recover a dissatisfied patient.” (Strasser and Davis)  “36.4% of healthcare A/R staff are very likely to modify patient collection strategies given current economic crisis today.” (Kaulkin Ginsberg)  “Less than 1% of all patient self-pays are collected before or after discharge.” (nTelagent)  “50% of patient accounts written off as bad debt by hospitals showed some ability to pay, 33% were classified as moderate income, and 16% were classified as high income or high net worth” (nTelagent)  “Hard collections by nonprofit hospitals against their patients is stirring more bad press and public anger.” (Baltimore Sun)  “Because of increased public and regulatory scrutiny, many providers are paying close attention to how their healthcare receivables are collected.” (ACA International) 4RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 5. INTRODUCTION & EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe purpose of this document is to provide useful information to medical industry CEO’s, CFO’s and their staffwho are willing to evaluate alternative solutions to improve collection cash flow with regard to patient self-payaccounts receivables, with a method that will preserve patient relationships and community goodwill in theprocess. The author of this White Paper is Richard S. Zizian JD, a Founder and Director of ResolveMy.Com Inc., acompany specializing in online accounts receivable solutions. Mr. Zizian has been a technology pioneer on theforefront of online patient-pay solutions for more than 5 years, and has been a consultant and executive in theconsumer credit industry, with more than 35 years of experience studying the psychology and methods ofconsumer debt collection practices. Currently, Mr. Zizian is collaborating with Debt Resolve Inc., the industryleader in online collection technology platforms.Our objective is to provide you with a straightforward overview of the solutions and methods available in themarketplace today to move the burden of the collection process online utilizing interactive, dashboard-driven,web-based portals, in a cloud technology environment. Emphasis is also placed on the reasons why self-paymedical receivables have the potential for being the “most collectible” of all classes of accounts receivablesusing online technology, compared to other types of consumer debt. However, despite the enhancedcollectability and the significant advantages of using online technology to do the heavy lifting for medicalaccounts receivables life cycle management, the medical industry is lagging far behind most industries in usingautomation to improve and manage patient-pay accounts receivables. We will discuss why this scenario existsand how to improve it.The nationwide economic downturn has brought patient self-pay accounts receivables to the forefront in manymedical facilities, both large and small, due to the increasing amount of self-pay balances, and the spike indelinquencies associated with patient-pay obligations. Patients are accepting higher deductible insurance plans,have no insurance at all due to loss of employment benefits, or are burdened by personal economic misfortune,all manifesting in higher delinquencies and larger outstandings. In fact, a survey by Advisory Board, indicatedthat perhaps as many as 66% of self-pay receivables go uncollected.The current financially challenged operating environment demands that hospital executives become moreknowledgeable on all of the resources available to them to maintain and improve cash flow. Additionally, webelieve that major adjustments and rethinking of hospital collection policies and executive attitudes towardself-pay accounts are in order and necessary for significant progress to be made. This White Paper will providethe rationale for transitioning to an enlightened, more efficient, dignified, and more cost-effective way toprotect your institutions bottom line. Studies indicate that 75% of your patients have computers or computeraccess. 85% of your computer-using patients want to resolve online (vs. having to speak with a collector).Your next major step forward is win-win for your business and your patients too. Patients get what theywant; a dignified alternative and you improve your bottom line in the process 5RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 6. STARTING WITH THE SOLUTION:There have been many documents and articles written on self-pay collections with good intentions over the pastfew years, however, unless technology is coupled with the proper psychology of patient messaging andcommunication that focuses on respect, dignity and compassion, there will be little benefit to your bottom lineresults. We will begin our dialogue with a discussion of the technology available to move your accountsreceivable process forward in a most significant way.FEATURES OF A FULL SERVICE AUTOMATED ONLINE COLLECTION PLATFORM:There are a number of perspectives upon which new technology can be evaluated, we have elected to focus onand highlight the attributes of the technology that address many of the resistance factors that have held manyhospital executives back from adopting new technology to help their cash flow process.The principals of ResolveMy.Com Inc. have had experience with many of the major online collection platforms inthe medical market. We have elected to focus on the “PatientPayPort” powered by Debt Resolve Inc. forpurposes of this Paper. DebtResolve’s technology is (a) the most mature platform in the consumer collectionsmarketplace with 7 years of in-service use, (b) has the most advanced, user-friendly features, and (c) the systemhas operating history of over 11 million account with a face value of over $11.5 Billion.PATIENTPAYPORT EXTERNAL CLOUD-BASED COLLECTION PLATFORM: This state-of-the-art collection platformhas the following attributes:1. Resource Free: There is no demand on your internal computer resources.2. No Software: There is no software to download.3. Minimal Integration: Minimal integration required to set up data reporting.4. HIPPA Compliant: All of the functionality and data is stored in HIPPA compliant remote Cloud Servers5. Dashboard: Access to the Platform is through a secure online portal using your own Dashboard.6. Internet Based: The Platform is a completely online, internet based process.7. Data Integration Upload Patent Files: To put patient accounts into the Platform for collections servicing, a simple upload or file transfer is initiated by your internal staff.8. Internally Controlled: You are in complete control of the entire process and you can set your own access security levels to any part of the program.9. Brand Specific – the look and feel of this collection platform (with your logo) is viewed as an extension of your existing collection efforts rather than a third party.10. Customizable – able to develop and modify unique collection options by group class of patient receivables using aging, size, credit score and zip code of the patients.11. A/R Life Cycle Management Service: The Platform is agnostic as to the aging or state of delinquency of the patient. The Platform services patient balances from pre-service estimated balances through to supporting your charge-off and collection agency functions, and all stages of account aging in between. 6RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 7. 12. Private Email Channel with Patient: The Platform is a Full Service patient support system with a private email communication channel for the patient to communicate directly with their account representative at your facility.13. Email Billing: Email billing is used to replace more expense hardcopy mailing and postage.14. Email Payment Reminders: Effective and highly useful email reminders help keep patients current and remind them of upcoming payments and thanking them for payments made.15. Real Time Reports and Analytics: The Platform can be accessed at any time to gain data on a live, real-time or historical cash flow basis. There are a host of specialized reports that can also be generated on demand from the system including but not limited to (a) Payments Made (b) Payments Pending (c) Payments Processed (d) Patient Disputes (e) Unsuccessful Settlement Attempts (f) Treatment Performance (g) Email Offers, etc.16. Legal Compliance: The collection messaging and process of an automated platform is uniformly programmed and integrated into the System’s functionality thereby assuring 100% legal compliance with collection laws.17. After Hour Collections: As many as 20% of the patients who resolve their balance online, do so after legal telephone collection hours. Automated collections provides 24/7/365 automated collection services to your patient. Patients can resolve on their own time schedule.ATTRIBUTES OF THE DASHBOARD: The Platform’s Dashboard is the program control panel that first appears onyour Platform Website when you sign on. The Dashboard is your administrative tool that allows you tointernally control all of the functionality of the Platform in a very user friendly environment. Anyone who caninput patient data into a computer is capable of operating the dashboard with minimal training.From a computer terminal at your facility, the following can be controlled from the Dashboard: 1. Any patient account with an estimated or open balance can be entered into the system. 2. The preferred collection method and options you wish to offer your patients, based upon (a) individual circumstances of the patients, or (b) patient groups as a class, may be custom designed to provide the most patient-friendly messaging and support to encourage payment. These collection options are called “Treatments” which are covered in more detail in the following section. 3. As previously mentioned, a wide variety of reports can be generated with real time data and analytics, including real time data on cash flow and funds collected.RECOMMENDED APPROACHES TO USING ONLINE COLLECTION TECHNOLOGY:PATIENT SELF-PAY ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLES “PIPE”: Best-in-class, online collection platforms are designed tosupport 100% of your patient self-pay account receivables, for their entire life cycle, regardless of the age orstatus of the patient accounts. It is highly recommended that you use an online Platform from the beginning ofthe self-pay life cycle management process, as there is no other more cost effective or efficient alternative. The 7RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 8. technology is designed to perform a process of (a) communicating, (b) providing payment options, and (c)automating the payment process with the patient. The Platform sees and treats your receivable flow as a pipe.The platform is designed to provide you and your patients with solutions for receivables before they enter the“pipe” as well as after they flow through and out of the pipe into 3rd party collection status. If you select thecorrect Platform provider, their system should provide a “One Platform fits all” solution.THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PATIENT MESSAGING AND COMMUNICATION: Your automated Collection Platformoperates behind the scene to facilitate the automated settlement and negotiation of payment solutions online.Before the Platform can do what it is designed to do, a patient must be encouraged to go online to engage in theprocess. The most important part of the collection process is called “messaging.” It is the skill and psychologyof the communication that makes a patient want to go online and explore and resolve. During the life cycle ofa patient self-pay receivable collection process, the messaging will change as the outstanding balance ages andbecomes more delinquent. As there are more “treatments” available to offer and incentivize more delinquentaccounts to pay, the messaging regarding those options is scripted differently. Most hospitals will use 7 to 10different letters to convey different messages during the collection aging process. The key aspect to allmessaging, however, is and must be, respect and dignity for the patient, as it is at the heart of achievingpatient cooperation.The most important aspects of “Messaging” include the following: 1. Invitations: Collection letters are referred to as “Invitations,” a friendly and dignified request to go online and resolve the balance. 2. Call to Action: The messaging has a call to action for the patient to perform on a timed basis. Incentives can be offered for timely performance (extended payments, no interest, and small discounts). 3. Patient-In-Good-Standing Status: The psychology of creating a “Patient-In-Good-Standing” status concept in the mind of the patient is an important part of the message. Patients want to be able to avail themselves of your critical medical services in the future and being “in-good-standing” drives home the point that all outstanding balances should be paid off to maintain that valuable status. However, a patient making payments on an old balance for prior services still remains a “Patient-in- Good-Standing” for current or future services from your facility. Using the Patient-In-Good Standing approach is a very artful way of preserving patient relationships in a dignified manner throughout the collection process and incentivizes the patient with the comfort of having access to future services. 4. Compassion, Respect and Dignity: Regardless of the age of the account, all messaging must be respectful, compassionate and dignified. It is important to preserve the good will and reputation of your facility at all times during the collection process. 5. Determined and Patient: The message will always reinforce that you are determined to get paid and that you will be as patient as is necessary, however, you intend to continue to communicate until the account is resolved.UNDERSTANDING THE WIDE RANGE OF COLLECTION “TREATMENTS” AVAILABLE ON THE PLATFORM: The mostimportant attribute of an online automated account receivable management system is the wide range of 8RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 9. payment and settlement options that can be applied to any single or group of account(s) over a particular periodof time. These “Treatments” are what allows the provider to approach collections with the most patient friendlysolutions possible, as there is a solution for almost every patient by blending the dollars available to pay with atimed and incentivized process.It is important to note that all of these options are transacted with the patient over the internet with nohuman intervention required. 75% of your patients have internet access and 85% of them would prefer toresolve their financial issues with you online without having to speak with anyone. Range of Automated Online Treatments Options ( Patient PayPort by Debt Resolve Platform) Go online and pay the estimated self-pay portion in Pre-Service Pay Estimated Balance In FullTreatment #1 full with credit card or ACH. Balance adjusted Now. when final accounting is done post service. Go online and set up a payment plan on the Pre-Service Set Up Payment Plan on estimated self-pay balance and adjust the lastTreatment #2 Estimated Balance Due payment(s) accordingly once the true final balance is known. Go online and pay the full amount due by creditTreatment #3 Pay Full Amount Due Online card or ACH. Go online and electronically set up an interest-free Pay The Full Amount Due On A Payment payment plan for a number of months withoutTreatment #4 Plan without Interest having to speak with anyone. (3 to 12 installment payments are typically offered) Higher scoring patients are asked to pay a modest Pay The Full Amount Due On A PaymentTreatment #5 interest carrying charge in exchange for an Plan with interest extended payment plan. Go online and receive the incentive of a discounted Pay off the Account Now in exchange forTreatment #6 balance if payment in full is made online within a an early pay-off Discount of ___% specific number of days. (Early Out Discount) Go online and receive the incentive discounted Pay off the Account with a no interest balance for making early arrangements to pay-offTreatment #7 payment plan and receive an incentive the account. The discounted balance is financed in discount of ___% as well. payments with no interest for a shorter number of months. Go online and receive the incentive discounted Pay off the Account with an interest balance for making early arrangements to pay-offTreatment #8 bearing payment plan and receive an the account. The discounted balance is financed in incentive discount of ___% as well. payments with a modest interest charge for a shorter number of months. Certain hard to collect patients are given an Negotiate online in a one-on-one blind invitation to go online and negotiate with the bid, 3 round negotiating to come to an provider’s platform to try to reach an electronicallyTreatment #9 acceptable pay-off amount to both negotiated amount to settle the balance online patient and provider now. Normally reserve for accounts over 120 days or more delinquentNote: The provider will select 5 to 6 of the available 9 treatment options above to activate on their platform.Live real-time data and analytics are continually available through the dashboard to allow for futureadjustments to focus on developing your “best practice” treatments that will yield the highest cash flow forthe provider. 9RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 10. Automated Online Treatments are designed to do the following:1. Make the payment process convenient through an online transaction.2. Make the payment process affordable by extending out the number of months to make payments.3. Incentivize the patient to pay in full to avoid interest.4. Incentivize the patient to set up a payment solution because interest is waived.5. Incentivize the patient to take action to receive a discount off of the original balance.6. Incentivize “hard-to-collect” patients through double-blind bid online negotiating.7. Treatments can be configured for a group of patients meeting certain demographics or credit scores.8. Treatments can be adjusted at any time during the collection process on a per account basis or in a batch.9. A host of medical treatments already exists on the Platform. You can custom design new treatments as well.10. Treatments are designed to provide positive incentives for the patient to act now.THE TWO COMMON DENOMINATORS OF AN INEFFICIENT MANUAL COLLECTION SYSTEM:The industries that have transformed their collection process to a state-of-the-art online collection platform hadtwo common denominators that made them realize that automation was necessary for their financial survival. 1. They generated more receivables per month than they could effectively handle with availablemanpower. Most business do not generate 500 to 3,000 new accounts receivables a month, but hospitals do,yet many continue to collect using old antiquated manual processes. 2. The payments and balances they were generating each month were too small to justify the cost ofcollecting the accounts in a cost-effectively manner using human collectors. Medical patient-pay co-pays,deductibles and out of pocket expenses fall squarely within these two key common denominator criteria. Nohospital can afford the requisite manpower to collect the units of accounts being generated on a cost-effectivebasis based upon the size of the outstanding dollars per unit being collected upon. Small balances must becollected through an automated online process.There have been a number of industry white papers produced on self-pay collections with well intentionedsuggestions. The bottom line is that the mathematics of self-pay debt collection is not and never will be inyour favor until you automate the process. 10RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 11. SELF-PAYS ARE BECOMING TOO IMPORTANT TO IGNORE OR UNDER-MANAGE:WHY HOSPITALS AND CLINICS LAGGING BEHIND OTHER INDUSTRIES IN ADOPTING AUTOMATED ONLINECOLLECTION SYSTEMS:1. Uncoordinated Micro Solutions: Hospital executives have been inundated with “micro-software solutions”over the past decade. None of these “spot” solutions were able to provide “beginning to end” accountreceivable life cycle solutions. These one-off software programs ultimately fail to coordinate with the hospitalsover-all system or procedures, and many of these micro-products have actually complicated the accountsreceivable process. As a result, many hospital executives have become wary about looking at thingstechnologically new. 11RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 12. 2. Hospitals Are Difficult To Sell To: Many hospitals do not provide a convenient path to receive, review anddemo new solutions. Many approve by committee and the sales process is long and protracted, which drivesthe solution providers to more friendlier selling environments in other vertical markets. Hospital executives donot (a) make time, (b) have little time, or (c) consider it a waste of time, to evaluate new solutions.3. Gate Keeper I.T. Departments: Many of the micro-solutions required integration with internal I.T. systemswhich received high resistance from internal I.T. staff members. Many of the original micro-solutions were notcloud based, dashboard technology and required significant I.T. coordination and integration which staffresisted.4. It’s Not Your Own Money: As brash as it may sound, institutional money is never treated or collected withthe same zeal as personal money, or as diligently as an independent small-business owner would. Corporatebad debt is treated as an accounting function and losses are readily accepted and often pre-ordained as acertainty, therefore, expectations are continually low.5. Lack of Understanding of How Far Online Collection Technology Has Advanced: Online collection solutionsfor medical receivables are a relatively new technology product and the information on various providers is justbeginning to become news within the mainstream industry media.WHY PATIENTS AVOID THEIR OBLIGATION TO YOU:Perception: There are a growing number of patient-consumers who subscribe to the notion that if you justignore your medical bills they will go away and they will most likely not be enforced; especially the smallbalances. At many facilities this may actually be true.Inefficient Process: Patients are counting on your inefficiency. Perhaps the patient may get one bill within 6months of service, and may never receive a second bill, and never receive a phone call. Patients will capitalizeon your lack of efficiency and lack of follow-up. If you give up they will not pay.Disputability: Patients empower themselves with a right not to pay by using insurance errors as an excuse todelay or avoid paying. Dispute follow up is typically as poor as collection follow up.You Give Up Much Too Soon: Most hospital A/R departments are working tens of thousands of open accountsmanually with little or no follow up with the patient. MEDICAL COLLECTION EFFORTS IN MOST HOSPITALS STOPMUCH TOO SOON TO GET EFFECTIVE RESULTS.Acceptable Derogatory: Most granters of consumer credit ignore medical derogs on a credit report becausethey accept the fact that more than 50% of patients don’t pay their balances off.Patient Awareness: Patients have much more access to information and they know the hospitals discounts theirbilling to the insurance company, so why should they as a patient have to pay a percentage of the inflated cost. 12RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 13. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF-PAY COLLECTIONS PROCESS:Begin Early: A system to address patient balances needs to be in place even before the patient receives service.Pre-Admit, Admittance or at Discharge online payment plan arrangements must be established as soon aspossible. This includes capturing the patient’s primary email address along with other pertinent contactinformation. The best way to collect an account receivable is not to create it in the first place. (Less than 1 in11 patients pay at point of service). Use Estimated Balances and adjust when the true balance is known.Use Payment Plans Effectively: Offering payment plans to patients is very appealing to the patient as medicalservice is often associated with temporary loss of income. Payment plans greatly improve patient relations anda modest interest carrying charge can also be inserted into the process to encourage early pay off.Bill Twice a Month Until Paid: The single greatest advantage of an automated online collection platform isthat it can bill the patient every week of every month using a virtually no-cost email communication processuntil paid. Computer servers are relentless and untiring. They add a dimension of efficiency andcommunication that far surpasses any collection effort you may have now. Frequency of billing will be thesingle greatest tool to collecting more accounts.Be Patient and Gently Relentless: Collections is a process not a calendared event. Hospitals are too willing tocharge-off and stop collecting accounts by a calendar time line. Loss of income is often associated with medicalservices. Allowing the patient from 6 month to a year to get back on their feet financially is not unreasonable ifyou want to get paid. You will not know if it is billing #4 or billing #16 that will trigger the patient to pay. Thekey is not stopping the billing process. The more billings you send the more the patient will understand yourdetermination of getting paid. This has to be a no-cost, repeatable email process for it to work.Reinforce and Maximize the Patient-In-Good-Standing Concept: Most patients are loyal to one provider andprefer it that way. The average family could visit a hospital more than 10 or more times every 10 to 15 years.They want to be able to walk into the ER without fear of rejection. Patients want and need your service and youcan allow past due patients to receive additional services using the Patient-In-Good-Standing concept. To be aPatient-In-Good-Standing does not mean that the patient has a zero balance with you, it means that they haveaccepted their financial responsibility and have made arrangements for and are paying on their outstandingbalance regardless of how old the account is. You want to reward “acceptance of responsibility.”Give Patients What They Want: 75% of your patents go online to the internet every day. 85% of them wouldprefer to deal with their obligations online. Researching, fixing, paying, scheduling, negotiating, and resolvingpersonal bills online is NONCONFRONTATIONAL, dignified, and makes the patient feel in control. Patientsprefer to work things out with you without the EMBARRASSMENT or perceived harassment of having to speakwith someone live, especially when they do not have the immediate ability to pay off all or a portion of theiraccount.Medical Bills Should Be More Collectible Than Most: You are providing the patient with a very valuableservice which no patient or their family can do without. They want your service and the comfort of knowingyou are there for them. They will pay the bill (eventually) if you continue to ask for payment in a dignifiedprofessional manner. Most hospitals do not have the infrastructure, support, determination or resolve to 13RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 14. approach collection with the repetitive efficiency that is required and necessary. An online automatedcollection platform can provide all of these critical attributes. the FOUR critical areas of A/R Improvement Your A/R solution must focus on the four critical operating areas PATIENT RELATIONSHIP ALLOW PATIENT MAINTAIN PATIENT TO RESOLVE WITH PROVIDER IMPROVE CASH FLOW RESPECT AND RELATIONSHIP LEGAL COMPLIANCE DIGNITY L SPACE INCREASE CASH AUTOMATE AND FLOW AND LOWER SHIFT 80% OF BAD DEBT THE A/R BURDEN ONLINE IMPROVED EFFICIENCY “An effective account receivable solutions must be compatible with the mission of the provider”RESPECT, DIGNITY AND COMPASSION:The basic foundation of your accounts receivable life cycle management process must be predicated upon a truecommitment to respecting your patient. Medicine is a business and patients have choices. You must serve yourpatient-customers with the same degree of respect and dignity that any other conscientious “service” provideraffords its clients. The nature of a service business is to create a long-term relationship of repeat business withsatisfied customers. Without managing the importance of this core philosophy, many providers will lose long-term and life-long patient relationships over a $300 unpaid account. Regardless of when you approach thepatient on paying the amount due, whether at pre-admit point of service, or even after charge-off, it is criticalthat you preserve your own reputation by affording your patient respect and dignity throughout the entirecollection process. The bottom line is your patients want to have the confidence that they can come back toyour facility without fear when needed. They want to pay you, but it may have to be on their terms, more sothan yours. The longer you communicate with a caring, compassionate and patient attitude; you can achievesuccess in zeroing out many heretofore uncollectable accounts using the methods we recommend in thisPaper. However, you cannot afford to do this extended effort manually; it must be done with the aid andperseverance of electronic communication. 14RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012
  • 15. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PATIENT DESIRE AND PATIENT ABILITY:In your approach to patient collections, it is important that you understand that one size does not fit all when itcomes to past due patients. Planning your collection strategy, psychology and patient collection communicationmessaging, will have a significant and positive impact on your results. Debtors must first and foremost beevaluated as to which of two categories they are most likely to fall within. There are those that have theability to pay but lack the desire, and then there are those that have the desire but temporarily lack the abilityto pay now. Fortunately, the vast majority of patient self-pay medical receivables will fall into the lattercategory. Medical bills are often associated with unplanned medical events where sickness or injury hasinterrupted the lives of many of your delinquent patients. Coupled with sickness and injury is loss of work andreduction in income. The simultaneous correlation of medical services with income earning down-timeaccounts for a great deal for the failure of most providers to settle up, on even small balances, within the first90 days of service. If your collection policy and process is so rigid that it requires adherence to an artificialcalendar time line (30, 60, 90, 120, Charge-Off’s) you are ignoring the real-life complications of your patientsthat impact their ability to pay. Unless you adopt a more protracted collection effort, you will charge-offmillions of dollars unnecessarily and turn over valuable patient relationships to collection agencies.It is frequency of communication that results in performance, not pressure. Patients will create their ownpressure the more you communicate with them. The spirit of the message can remain compassionate, butenduring, for the majority of your patients that fall into the “desire but lacking ability” category.CONCLUSION: 1. Automate your process to (a) gain efficiency, (b) lower your collection costs and (c) increase revenue. 2. Improve and broaden your patient payment options (treatments). 3. Extend your collection cycle, never stop billing, and bill frequently by email. 4. Make the executive decision to take down the barriers and expedite the approval process to add state- of-the-art technology to your cash flow process. New collection platforms can be implemented within 2 to 3 weeks. Progress requires leadership. If you need professional assistance to establish staff consensus for adoption of new technology, contact Mr. Richard Zizian, at ResolveMy.Com Inc. 619-236- 0569 or rzizian@resolvemy.com 15RM-White Paper V2 -1-3-2012