In a recent blog we announced the forthcoming addition of Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) courses to the slate of eLearning available through the Elsevier performance management platform.

This week, we’d like to focus in on one of the curricula – Patient Financial Communications – which presents best practices designed, as HFMA notes, to bring “consistency, clarity and transparency” to such conversations. The steps provided enable staff to help patients understand the cost of services they receive, their insurance coverage and their individual responsibility.

All of this is key information – especially in this era of high-deductibles.

The latest National Health Interview Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the percentage of persons under age 65 with private insurance enrolled in a high-deductible health plan increased from 25.3 percent in 2010 and 36.7 percent in 2015 to 40.0 percent in the first 3 months of 2016. This makes the patient a significant revenue source for healthcare organizations, necessitating strong collection techniques for providers of all types and sizes.=

In addition, according to a recent article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, this increasing emphasis on having patients be more financially responsible for their care is unlikely to end in the near future, regardless of what happens in Washington, DC, and to the Affordable Care Act.

That’s why organizations seeing a downward trend in revenue should look at their patient collections policies and strategies, improving communications to increase cash flow and effectively educating, and working with, patients to help them understand and meet their obligations.

That’s what HFMA Patient Financial Communications is all about, providing online scenario-based practice sessions to help staff know what to say, how to say it and ways in which to explore constructive collection solutions to resolve self-payment challenges.

A timely addition to our training portfolio, these eLearning modules can help organizations meet their revenue goals today and through whatever tomorrow brings.

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