While patient portals have long been required of certified EHR software, smart practices are finding new ways to leverage this technology. Bolster your practice’s financial success and patients’ experience with these three tips.
#1 Drive Q1 Revenue Up
When patient deductibles reset at the end of the year, many practices experience a dip in visits and revenue. However, there is a way to help patients while helping your bottom line, and your certified EHR and patient portal are indispensable tools.
Many patients are unaware of covered preventive care services. Practices can leverage the portal to remind patients of preventative care in Q1 to increase appointments in which patients most often do not have to pay for out of pocket.
Using reports in your EHR, you can identify various patient segments and send specific patient portal messages. This task done manually, could take weeks versus a couple of hours, saving staff time and print and postage costs.
Inside Tip: Send patients thoughtfully crafted patient portal messages reminding them of preventative care. Patients will appreciate this proactive action, and it can be a great way to build business in an otherwise low-volume Q1.
#2 Capture Patient Responsible Revenue Quicker
How many bills do you receive in the mail versus via email notification? How many bills do you pay online versus sending a check by mail? Society has evolved to expect online payment options, and not having them can actually delay payments even more as patients have become dependent on online bill pay in general.
By virtualizing patient statements, patients have quick and easy access to pay their medical bills online. Practices drastically reduce the time (and costs) associated with patient statements. On average, patients billed electronically pay more quickly and in full. Sending statement reminders electronically is easy and inexpensive.
Inside Tip: Notify patients that your practice offers online bill pay and encourage them to use it. Ensure patients know how to access their medical bills online and how to submit payment. A handout at the front desk can assist with this. Then, sit back and enjoy your decreased Days in A/R.
#3 Increase Patient Satisfaction and Loyalty
Patient portals make patients’ lives easier. Whether it is logging in to request an appointment, send a secure message to a physician, or to check lab results, patients have come to expect instant access to their health records. As reported in an ONC survey, the majority of patients that do access their health information online report that it is useful.
Communicating with patients between visits via direct secure messaging strengthens the physician-patient bond. This stronger bond has been shown to improve patients’ adherence to care plans as well as create a sense of loyalty to the physician. Loyalty helps retain patients and increases referrals which directly impacts your practice’s revenue cycle.
Inside Tip: Communicate with patients via the portal between visits to check-in and encourage patients to follow their care plan. Share educational materials on their diagnosis to keep them engaged and off of Dr. Google.
Patients find patient portals useful and doctors benefit when their patients use them. This is a win-win all around. So, what steps will you take to maximize the benefits of your EHR and patient portal?