Surgery centers are gradually rebounding from the revenue impacts of 2020. However, with the massive surgery backlogs, ‘normal’ is not quite there yet thus continuing to affect ASC revenue.

The challenge is for ASCs to remain profitable while facilitating a safe surgical environment for both patients and staff. In addition to patient care, revenue cycle management and receiving timely patient payments is a top concern for ASCs.

The traditional payment model for healthcare providers across specialties is broken. For example, patients leave appointments or procedures without establishing expectations with the provider of how or when they will pay the balance. Providers are left chasing after those payments sending follow up statements and the revenue cycle stalls at accounts receivables.

The pandemic required surgery centers to rethink their strategies, implement new processes, and improve their patient experience.

During the pandemic, consumers have found several new behaviors which will continue to stick long after the pandemic is over.

According to a McKinsey survey, consumers intend to continue with many digital behaviors even after COVID-19 subsides, including online purchasing (35 percent increase in online spend penetration) and use of digital health-and-wellness tools (70 to 80 percent intend to continue post-COVID-19).

While the surgery sector is a pioneer of cutting-edge clinical technology, its payment and revenue cycle systems are often lagging, which directly influences overall ASC revenue.

Digital technologies exist to solve the problem of chasing patient payments and outstanding accounts receivables by making it easier for patients to pay, extending payment options, and automating the payment workflow.

Here are 3 must-have tools for offices to maximize their ASC revenue:

3 Digital Tools to Maximize ASC Revenue - Text-to-Pay

1. Digital Payment Options & Contactless Payment Technologies Like Text-to-Pay 

Patients want a retail-like payment experience, and the pandemic has only accelerated the preference for convenient contactless methods.

The reality is that many ASC back offices are still years behind offering the latest payment options. The traditional methods of mailing bills or checks and reading credit card numbers over the phone are inefficient.

At the same time, ASCs are less likely to receive timely payments and their staff is going to spend a significant portion of their time chasing them.

Opening up more convenient payment methods has a big impact on surgical facilities. With digital payment options like online and mobile bill pay, patients can manage their own finances and it makes it as easy as possible for them.

For example, with Text-to-Pay technology, ASCs can text patients their balance and allow them to make payments and view payment options, payment plans, and financing options.

When patients receive payment options quickly, not only do they save time, but their frustration is reduced, resulting in a patient experience that is more satisfying. Giving patients convenient payment tools that they prefer and expect greatly increases the chances of receiving a timely payment.

2. Payment Plan Technology to Stabilize Cashflow

Payment plan technology gives surgery centers a practical solution for working with patient payments especially those who are unable to or prefer not to pay their balance in full.

A 2021 Healthcare Payment Experience Report by PYMNTS revealed the following:

  • 2 out of 3 patients (63 percent) said they want access to payment plans
  • 54 percent of patients want to manage their payments digitally
  • 33 percent of patients said establishing payment plans would entice them to switch medical providers

Payment plans allow patients to afford care by making payment manageable. It also incentivizes patients to start treatment or procedures that they might otherwise be hesitant to begin with due to costs.

When patients can create individualized payment plans, their satisfaction and loyalty increases.

As you adapt to each patient’s specific needs, your ASC receives consistent incoming payments instead of waiting on a large payment that might not come. For any healthcare facility, cash flow is important for growth and in bouncing back from the pandemic revenue struggle.

3. Automation Technology for the Payment Workflow

Automation is becoming the new standard in revenue cycle management.

With more self-pay patient payments coming in, it is crucial to invest in technologies that will interface with your patient accounting software and merchant services and automatically post payments to the patient account or ledger.

Leveraging automation technology significantly reduces administrative burden and errors in manual payment posting. It also frees up time for staff to focus on more revenue-generating activities.

Having an automatic way to sync payments between systems and third-party vendors removes the possibility of error and reduces delayed payments over bill confusion. This ultimately results in higher patient satisfaction because of up-to-date information.

Here are four essential areas that needs vendor automation especially for self-pay accounts:

  • Daily accounts submission
  • Daily payment and adjustment account reconciliation
  • Vendor collections automatically directed to existing merchant services
  • Automatic invoices that are gross remit and automatically paid

By implementing these digital tools, you can maximize your revenue and improve your patient collections.

In one Mnet case study, you can see how leveraging these digital tools helped a surgical hospital increase its self-pay collections by 121% on average and increased cash flow by $1M through bad debt avoidance within 12 months.


About Mnet Health

We believe every patient deserves a helpful, transparent, easy to navigate financial experience in healthcare.

Mnet is the premier revenue cycle management & technology provider to the surgical industry. We provide custom patient-pay solutions to surgical hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. As of 2020, Mnet Health partners with over 700 surgical facilities nationwide and is the preferred vendor of both United Surgical Partners International (USPI) and Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) – both directly with and in support of centralized billing offices.

Mnet’s custom brand, PaySUITE, is a white-labeled payment technology platform that helps surgical facilities and their providers grow their business by helping patients pay. Mnet’s patient-pay solutions significantly increase self-pay collections while creating a better financial experience for patients. For more information, visit https://mnethealth.com.