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ments were made with such personalized tools compared to other Web-based payment systems (source: confidential client data).


Personalization creates intrigue


Users of personalized online payment solutions can customize the look of the websites and the payment parameters for each patient. Such practices accelerate payments and increase collections by utilizing unique, personalized sites that are pre-populated with the patient’s specific information. By contrast, traditional e-billing and e-payment solutions utilize a website with payment portals that a patient navigates and then registers to use to make a payment.


The personalized online payment process begins with a personalized notification that goes directly to the patient via letter or email. The notification contains a custom message to the patient and the link and password to their personal website. The website’s welcome page and sub- sequent pages dynamically display the logo of the facility where they were treated, giving the patient confidence and comfort in following through with the payment pro- cess. Using the personalized payment site, the patient can make a credit card, debit card or ACH payment on their account and update their personal information. With one click the payment is processed, a confirmation is emailed to the provider and patient, and the money is deposited directly into the provider’s account.


The key to the effectiveness of the personalized online payment solution is the intrigue it creates. When patients receive a communication that contains a personalized URL linking them directly to their own customized website – a site that is pre-populated with his or her own account and payment infor- mation – they are immediately interested and want to know more. And the convenience of the personalized sites helps prompt faster action. There are operational benefits for the provider, too. By taking payments online, providers can automate the labor-intensive posting of payments, improving operational efficiencies and accelerating revenue. Automating this pro- cess improves internal security and eliminates human error associated with manual processing.


Ease of use speeds patient payments


The pre-populated websites are easy to use, and average payments are made less than 13 days from the day state- ments are received. Experience has shown that 78 percent of end users that log onto such a personalized solution will make a payment – and can do so in less than 60 seconds (source: confidential client data). Additionally, consumers can easily update their demographic information directly through the website.


www.healthmgttech.com


Most personalized online payment solutions can be inte- grated with the provider’s existing account, further increasing efficiencies and reducing time-consuming manual payment processing. Funds can be deposited directly through the pro- vider’s existing merchant account – or, if they prefer, through another merchant processor – to speed the receipt of funds. In addition, processing payments online reduces call center costs associated with payment by phone. The personalized solution also enables the provider to promote its brand and advertise its service lines to patients. Effective marketing of the service to pa- tients is vital to achieving the maximum benefits of a new personalized online payment system. In order to increase awareness and utiliza- tion of the service, the provider should use every tool typi- cally employed for a patient marketing pro- gram, providing multiple points of patient inter- action: face-to- face communi- cations with


patients


at the front desk, tent-card signage and bro-


chures in provider reception areas, promotional messages on statements highlighting the convenience of personalized online payment, prominent mentions of the provider’s Web address to access additional information on all communications, in-office and direct-mailed brochures, tele- phone on-hold messages, patient newsletters and advertising. The effects of the PPACA will be dramatic, and healthcare providers must find new ways to conduct their businesses. Personalized online payment solutions are proving to be one powerful way to achieve multiple benefits: accelerated pay- ments, increased collections, reduced bad debt, enhanced billing accuracy, increased operational efficiencies and lower paper and postage costs.


HMT HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY October 2012 19


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