A Revenue-Focused Estimations Strategy to Increase Collections at Your Dermatology Practices

Reading Time: 6 minutes

By Chloe from Clearwave | April 3, 2023

A revenue-focused estimations strategy can help your dermatology practice increase collections by increasing point-of-service collections. One of the biggest challenges healthcare providers face is collecting payments from patients prior to rendering care. Once a patient leaves the office, in their minds, payment goes on the backburner. Your practice’s probability of collecting once a patient leaves the office is 30%. Capturing payment ahead of time will depend on your ability to quickly determine co-pays, ask for payments (including past-due balances) and estimate your patient’s cost of care, prior to being seen. Here’s how you can use a patient care estimations strategy to increase collections at your dermatology practice.

What Are Patient Estimations?

By providing patients with an estimation of the costs they can expect to pay prior to their appointments, providers can increase financial transparency and help patients prepare to pay. Estimations can help patients avoid surprise bills and reduce the likelihood of unpaid bills for providers. Sharing estimations with patients prior to their appointments can also help create financial transparency and improve patient satisfaction. Patient estimations allow patients to have a better understanding of their financial responsibilities and make informed decisions about their healthcare. 

Due to the No Surprises Act, practices are required to provide Good Faith Estimates to uninsured or self-pay individuals. These estimates include information about the expected cost of medical services, as well as information about the patient’s insurance coverage and any deductible or copay requirements. However, your practice can go beyond Good Faith Estimates and use digital estimation technology to provide estimates to all patients. Taking this step helps patients understand their upcoming payments, including co-pays, care estimates and even past-due balances. 

Consider how you can use digital estimations technology to create and send estimates to all of your patients, to help them understand their upcoming payments, including co-pays, care estimates and even past-due balances.

One way dermatology providers can calculate patient estimations is by leveraging digital tools. For example, providers can use patient engagement software programs to verify insurance coverage, determine deductibles, and calculate estimated costs for healthcare services. These tools can help streamline the payment process and provide accurate and timely estimations for patients. This on-demand webinar shares how!

Benefits of Providing Dermatology Patients With Cost Estimates:

Nearly 83% of patients want to see accurate information on out-of-pocket costs before having health care services. Furthermore, 25% of patients have avoided obtaining care due to lack of cost information, according to the 2021 Annual Consumer Sentiment Benchmark 

Practices who use care estimations have seen that patients are more likely to pay for healthcare services when they understand the costs involved and can prepare for them in advance. In fact, studies have shown that patients who receive cost estimates prior to their appointments are more likely to pay their bills and pay them in a timely manner. 

Using patient estimations and digital tools to increase point-of-service collections can be an effective strategy for dermatology providers. By providing patients with transparent and accurate cost estimates, providers can increase their likelihood of receiving timely payments and accelerate cash flow.

How to Create a Revenue-Focused Collections & Estimations For Your Dermatology Practice

Use the steps below to build a digital estimations approach you can use to provide financial transparency to your dermatology patients, while increasing revenue collections. See how you can adjust your current tools and methods, with smart, push-of-the-button technology to power a revenue-driving estimations process.

Automate Insurance Verification

A quality comprehensive patient revenue platform™ can help your practice verify patients’ insurance coverage in real-time, allowing dermatology practices to provide accurate cost estimates for services. Automating insurance verification for primary, secondary and tertiary coverage can help you ensure that every time a patient checks-in, you will know their accurate co-pay and can collect that payment. Additionally, through automatic eligibility verification, you are able to get reliable coverage information that is fast, anywhere between appointment scheduling and patient check in — and on average 7 times per patient engagement!

Fast insurance verification is a critical first step to creating patient estimates and ensuring payment prior to rendering care. You can also increase your active insurance rate with this digital tool and help your staff quickly uncover any insurance errors prior to patients arriving at your practice, so you can solve insurance issues and collect payment when patients arrive. A simple, instant and automated insurance eligibility verification tool will help you create true financial transparency, accelerate cash flow and free staff from the time-consuming tasks of verification.  

Use Technology to Calculate Patient Estimations

To meet the standards set by The No Surprises Act, high-growth healthcare practice leaders have leaned into technology to create an efficient estimates process. With the right approach, you can create cost estimates without burdening your staff or incurring revenue challenges due to human error. Successful leaders have implemented smart technology to simplify estimations and ensure accuracy when providing patients with the financial transparency they require.  

Implementing a patient engagement platform will help you calculate patient estimations quickly and efficiently, with minimal-to-no staff intervention. A comprehensive patient engagement platform can also help your dermatology practice provide accurate estimations for patients and reduce the likelihood of patients not paying for services. Doing this may even lead to a potential 90% decrease in insurance claim rejections and a 65% improvement in collection rates by presenting the correct co-pay to every patient at check-in.

Start by standardizing billing codes for regular office visits, surgical procedures, diagnostics and other care offerings that you can input into a proven estimations tool. As you search for a patient estimations platform, get strategic. Streamline your IT infrastructure with an estimations tool that integrates seamlessly with your insurance verification solution and your EHR/PMS — putting patient data and intuitive estimates right where you need them most. Having tools that communicate without staff intervention or additional imports/exports will help you create a seamless, push-of-a-button approach to patient care estimates. 

With automated insurance information integrated into your estimations tool, you can create care estimates based on the patient’s insurance payer(s) and your practice’s pre-developed billing codes for care. As a result, you can provide your patients with financial transparency around their payment responsibility, prior to seeing them in the office. Numerous practices are already seeing results with a push-of-a-button patient estimations approach

Share Estimations with Patients

Use your reminders or other communications tools to send your patients their estimated responsibility for their upcoming visit including deductibles, cost estimates and even past due balances. Providing this transparency prior to the appointment helps patients understand their responsibility, which helps your patients prepare for their financial responsibilities, reducing the likelihood of unpaid bills.

This step helps payment become top-of-mind for patients, instead of an afterthought that can be dealt with or pushed off down the line. Providing an estimate prior to the appointment also makes the conversation of finances easier for patients and staff to discuss in the office, helping the entire payment process run smoothly, and with less surprises or patient frustration. 

How Can a Patient Engagement Platform Help Dermatology Practices Increase Collections?

A comprehensive patient engagement platform can help dermatology practices create a revenue-focused estimations strategy that improves the patient experience and increases collections. By leveraging digital tools like Clearwave, practices can create financial transparency, streamline payment processes, and improve patient satisfaction. See practice results in action.

In addition to this, here are some other ways a comprehensive patient engagement platform can help your practice increase collections: 

Streamlining Patient Check-in

With digital patient check-in solutions, patients can complete their check-in process digitally using self-service kiosks or their mobile devices — with minimal or no staff intervention. This tool helps reduce wait times and eliminates errors, ensuring a smoother and more efficient check-in process. With faster check-ins, your staff can focus on providing quality care to patients, resulting in a better patient experience and higher patient satisfaction.

Automated Appointment Reminders

A patient engagement platform can send automated appointment reminders via text, email, or phone calls. This tool helps reduce no-shows and late cancellations, which can cost practices significant revenue.

Online Appointment Scheduling

Patients can use 24/7 online scheduling to book appointments, reducing phone calls and increasing scheduling efficiency. This tool also provides patients with greater convenience, because it’s password-less and portal/app-free making it simple for new or existing patients to book appointments at your dermatology practice. 

By providing patients with a more convenient and engaging experience, a patient engagement platform can help dermatology practices increase collections and drive growth.

Use Clearwave’s solutions for patient check-in, eligibility verification, electronic forms, and online bill pay to help your dermatology practice increase collections, reduce denials and streamline their operations. Learn how Clearwave helped one practice increase self-pay collections through estimations!

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