Achieving Value, A Different Kind of Medical Miracle
By David Bond
Practice management system (PMS) vendors have long sought to provide their physician customers with more capabilities than just traditional practice management and EHR capabilities. Specifically, providing outsourced patient statements and RCM services are some of the most important opportunities that have been identified to bring greater value to their customers and increased revenue to their firm.
However what I’ve seen is quite frankly an assortment of “half-measure” solutions that don’t efficiently utilize today’s interconnected world: portals that aren’t truly integrated, systems that don’t enhance a practices workflow or focus on usability for both the practice and patient alike. More importantly, that seek to find a solution that yields untapped profit opportunities for those PMS vendors that are able to satisfy these requirements.
In fact, many PMS vendors are mired in paper-based billing methods or a clunky billing portal instead of looking to implement an integrated solution that truly drives value for both the practice and the patient. I also find it interesting that most of these current billing mechanisms do little to significantly boost the profit margins of the PMS vendors offering these services in addition to their core offerings.
My aim is not to criticize these companies, as many have been very successful and offer fantastic products that are of use to their customers, but instead offer insight into new opportunities they can adopt to increase their efficiency and profitability. While the PMS providers might feel their current outsourced paper billing solutions put them in a more favorable light with their physicians, they do little to put more profits in their own pockets, streamline the billing process, help practices with their workflow, create clarity for patients, speed time to payment, or reduce errors on the back end.
Instead of going with a traditional solution that only marginally helps PMS vendors, how about something that can be easily integrated with most solutions and be welcomed with open arms by medical practices and patients alike?
Online billing, patient balance management, and reconciliation services that can be easily integrated with most PMS vendor offerings is in fact a reality today. It drastically reduces the need for paper bills and the cost and delays they create and makes obsolete billing portals that are not truly integrated. Presenting patient statements that are easily understood and allocate the remittance precisely to the services that were received creates clarity for everyone and is highly profitable for any PMS vendor looking to bolster their bottom line through a recurring revenue stream.
Want proof? A major PMS vendor ran the numbers and realized an additional $3 million in pure profit by integrating this capability with its core practice management offering used by 3,500 medical practices. I don’t care who you are, this is real money.
If you’re a PMS vendor and want to achieve real value, both in profitability and long-term customer retention, providing a simple and integrated online bill pay solution will get you there.
David Bond is EVP of PatientPay of Durham, NC.