By Rozanne Andersen
This article was published in the November 2017 issue of Compliance Today, a publication produced by TheHealth Care Compliance Association (HCCA).
From the C-suite to the Billing Office, revenue cycle professionals understand the new dependency that non-profit and for-profit healthcare providers have on self-pay accounts. Gone are the days when the bad debt expense was just a small concern for providers. Yet budgets are met and patients are served only when healthcare financial professionals manage their receivables with surgical precision. Patient-friendly billing practices, well written financial assistance plans, and aggressive insurance follow-up help to alleviate the exposure to unpaid patient bills. But, as the growth of high-deductible health plans continues to accelerate, providers need to do more. They need to embrace the world of electronic payments.
Traditionally, healthcare organizations have been slow to adopt multichannel forms of payment. Even today, personal checks and credit card payments remain the top two forms of payment that healthcare providers require their patients to use. But patients are demanding change and in turn expect their healthcare providers to embrace their payment preferences. Like any other consumer of a product or service, patients prefer electronic payments over any other form. Electronic payments can be made in several ways: website, live operator, interactive voice response (IVR), and smart phone app. Part 1 of this article presents the compliance requirements associated with each type of electronic payment.