Medical practices that are able to engage their patients at every stage of the care continuum will not only see improved patient outcomes, but also have more opportunities to realize payments. Technology solutions are at the core of these process improvements. One shining example is the ability to automatically deliver electronic invoices and receive online payments.

By investing in digital billing solutions, physicians bring value to their organization by making it easier for patients to see and understand how their final bill reflects their medical experience. Plus, it provides opportunities to dispute potential mistakes and make electronic payments.

Building patient engagement through digital solutions

A paper bill is easy to forget, ignore or miss completely. Electronic solutions don’t have this problem because they’re much harder to lose. Though a piece of paper can get lost among a stack of unrelated mail, an electronic invoice is always available, infinitely accessible from any device and easy to copy. This ubiquity is, in itself, a highly valuable advantage over traditional billing methods. Also let’s face it, snail mail has been on the way out for years – it may be slow in going, but speed was never an advantage of paper

Damming leaks in the revenue cycle

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“Electronic invoicing creates more opportunities to realize unpaid revenue.”

Digital solutions power patient engagement efforts by making it easier for patients to access their personal health records. In years past, patients would have to call and request their records, a complicated, time-consuming process that often left patients feeling frustrated. Now, modern electronic health records have made it easy for everyone to access his or her own patient data from any connected device.

Building patient engagement is a win-win for patients and physicians alike. As reported by the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, improved patient engagement goes hand in hand with better patient outcomes. Digital tools are at the center of these improvements, so it should come as no surprise that electronic billing plays an important role in driving engagement. These benefits are prevalent across industries.

Digital invoicing reduces the time it takes to receive payments by eliminating the need for additional rounds of follow-up after initial billing. Paired with online bill-payment solutions, digital invoicing creates a seamless experience for patients, giving them more opportunities to pay their medical bills on time.

Capturing more revenue with electronic invoices

Improving revenue capture is important for one very big reason: A large portion of America’s patient population does not or cannot pay their medical bills. According to Modern Healthcare magazine, citing data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 20 percent of Americans, approximately 42.9 million people, have unpaid medical debt. On average, that’s $1,766 in unpaid medical bills per individual.

Often in these cases, doctors have their hands tied. Other than sending these bills to collections, there’s not much they can do to get patients to pay these bills. Unfortunately, other bills, such as home mortgage payments, take precedence over medical debt.

How to keep patients engaged after the visit

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Sending reminders is one way doctors can attempt to gain back some of that unrealized revenue. If a practice only uses paper billing methods, however, it means it has to use additional resources to print and mail another bill, potentially multiple times. An electronic invoice, on the other hand, requires no such additional service – it’s always there, ready to be viewed.

Electronic billing is an effective solution when combined with other digital technologies. Used in conjunction with a robust EHR ecosystem, practices can improve multiple administrative processes at once. If your practice is ready to engage patients with tailored digital solutions, contact Tangible Solutions today to learn more.