Healthcare News & Insights

Hospitals take unique approach to collecting payments

In the current economic climate, hospitals must think of unique ways to collect payments from patients, especially those who are uninsured or underinsured.

Several hospitals have taken it upon themselves to change their approach to collections, and they’ve experienced positive results.

Here are two examples of how other hospitals successfully implemented different ways of receiving payment from patients by thinking outside the box.

Allowing online payments

Boca Raton Regional Hospital, located in South Florida, recently added a bill payment feature to its website. The result? Cash payments from patients increased by nearly $1 million over the course of a year.

Using an online payment system also helped streamline the collections process in general. Fewer people were needed to process patient bills received in the mail, and the hospital received the money faster since it was paid electronically.

What you can do: Look into the possibility of creating an online payment system for your hospital. Consider the changes you’d need to make to your existing website to make things work. Although it may cost more upfront, it may end up saving your hospital money, and even boosting revenue, in the long run.

Giving ’em treatment for a song

Uninsured people with artistic talents are offered a unique opportunity to pay their medical bills at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, NY. As part of the Lincoln Art Exchange, those who make their living as artists can trade their services for receiving medical treatment.

Writers, poets, musicians, actors, dancers and other artists earn health “credits” for every hour they participate in a creative activity, such as giving a performance or working on a mural. The credits can be used to pay for various health-related expenses, including doctor’s visits and lab work.

What you can do: See if your hospital would be able to make such an exchange work for a subset of patients in your area. Try to forge unique partnerships with unlikely sources – Lincoln Medical is undertaking this effort with the help of several Broadway actors, along with several arts and philanthropy organizations.

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