Turn Third-Party Payers into Major Players with Payment Automation Strategies

Automated patient payment works great for providers. When patients pay electronically, they experience convenient, real-time access to account information and ease of payment. In tandem, providers benefit from accelerated cash flow, reduced errors and simplified reconciliation. Why shouldn’t payments received from Government and Commercial payers be any different?

At last, the healthcare industry is awakening to the transformative value of automated payments from third-party payers. There’s almost a collective “what took us so long?” sigh as solutions are introduced to accommodate Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA) from payers. After all, Government and Commercial payments account for a large percentage of healthcare reimbursement dollars. When that large volume of payment is distributed by payers electronically, providers, as well as the healthcare industry as a whole, reap the benefits of the automation. According to a November 2009 report by Celent, there could be as much as $11 billion in annual savings realized in the U.S. alone by converting paper checks and Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) to electronic data.

While $11 billion in savings and improved cash flow are compelling, the reality is that much of the industry is still mired in the paper shuffle. Though they want to transition to automated third-party payments, providers linger on the familiar path of paper transactions due to concerns about cost, lack of resources to manage individual enrollments in Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) with individual payers as well as antiquated or disparate financial management systems. While these are real hurdles, the undeniable advantages of automated payments, and the surprising ease with which they can be implemented into an organization, will ultimately compel the shift.

As a leader in electronic transmittance of financial data, Emdeon has already paved the way for providers to streamline the payment cycle to receive, process and post third-party payments electronically regardless of payer participation in EFT. What is presently considered an innovation will likely become the accepted standard for the industry in the near future.

“Remittance & Payment Management Best Practices,” a recent podcast available via Healthcare Technology Online puts a spotlight on the topic and offers information and tips for providers taking the early steps toward automated payments. In this session, Tom Turi, Senior Vice President of Financial Services at Emdeon, reveals the latest payment management tips for receiving, processing and posting payments electronically.

No matter where your organization stands between the paper-filled past and the automated future, this podcast will aid in making decisions about your present practices and policies to ensure your readiness for payment automation innovations. Listen to the podcast now.

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