The Business of Innovation
There is no doubt that in today’s world innovation is important to remain viable. We spoke to Dhiya Gobind, Benefit Checker Product Manager, to discuss how Healthbridge’s innovative ‘patient benefit check’ technology is helping medical practitioners minimise bad debt while improving cash flow. Patient liables have become the norm and are becoming even more prevalent. In today’s tough economic times, and with the large medial aid contribution increases set for 2017, these amounts are becoming increasingly more challenging for patients to pay.
The problem with patient liables is that many practices don’t have the processes in place for effective collection from patients. However, studies have shown that patients who are informed of outstanding amounts while they are still at the practice are not only more likely to pay, but are more likely to pay sooner. In fact, one study showed how the chance of collecting from a patient drops by around 16%* as soon as they leave the practice. With this in mind, in 2013 Healthbridge launched the Benefit Checker service. This service enables practices to know immediately how much of their patient’s claim will be covered by the medical aid and how much the patient will be responsible for paying (patient liable). This enables practice staff to inform patients of potential patient liable amounts and make any payment plans required prior to consult.
“Benefit Checker enables practice staff to give patients a pdf print-out explaining what will be paid and why. This feedback comes directly from the patients’ medical aid and helps staff explain to patients why they need to pay” explains Dhiya Gobind. Not only is Benefit Checker the only service available that offers 100% benefit checks with immediate or same day patient benefit responses; but it is the only service that has immediate responses with Discovery Health, Metropolitan Health and as of October 2016, Medscheme. Staff can effortlessly check the benefits of these patients within seconds, at the click of a mouse.
“The Benefit Check service is particularly useful towards year-end, when patients’ funds tend to be exhausted causing a higher patient liable risk for the practice.” warns Dhiya Gobind. “At present, over 1 250 practices are using the Benefit Checker to confirm patient benefits and amplify their business efficiency.”
Watch how the Benefit Checker has helped one of our clients:
The Benefit Checker service is all about giving medical practices the information they need when they need it and enables practices to:
- check patient benefits across all medical aids from a single application with immediate or same day responses.
- reduce the time and cost spent on verifying benefits as no more no lengthy calls with multiple medical aids are needed.
- empower staff to have the payment conversation with patients prior to consult
- manage risk of non-payment and engage with patients on payment plan options
“What practices are looking for is an easy, convenient user experience that minimises the administration on their side. It is with this in mind that Healthbridge is working tirelessly to find ways to help medical practitioners run thriving practices” concludes Dhiya Gobind.
* Ferkovic, T.J. (2016) Waiving copays puts you at risk for fraud. Available at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-now/waiving-copays-puts-you-risk-fraud (Accessed: 26 October 2016).