Implementing a patient portal is a great source of increased revenue for any health care practice. Patient portals are online applications for doctors and patients that streamline communication, medical records and billing into one convenient go-to location. Having a portal can greatly help a practice bump up revenue and save time, money and resources.
Ah, the wonders of the internet. There isn’t much that cannot be done over the web these days. Filing tax returns, checking in for flights and viewing bank statements were all things people had to physically do in person or required waiting by the mailbox. The implementation of an online patient portal, as well as increase revenue, offers to make the patient’s life a lot easier – an obvious win-win. A portal now provides patients the opportunity to do all the things they once had to do at a doctor’s office from the comfort of their own home or cubicle. Patients can make appointments, request prescriptions and know their latest lab results without ever having to pick up a phone or get into a car. As most patients probably have super busy schedules, this should be music to their ears.
The hot ticket earner in portals is through cash-pay services such as electronic medical consultations and video visits. Electronic medical consultations with a physician can be done via email, instant messenger or text message. Depending on the practice, the fee for electronic consultations can range, depending on the method, e.g., a flat rate per email or text and per minute for instant message chats. An alternative electronic consultation option would be video visits, which would work like Skype. These give patients a feeling of being face to face with their doctor without having to leave home and can be charged by the minute.
Another great method of increasing revenue is having an online bill pay system as part of the portal. Whether a practice is a direct pay cash-only one or not, patients will be able to view their medical bills online and pay by credit or debit card. More importantly, patients will be more likely to pay their bills in greater amounts and on time, drastically reducing the need for collections.
Updated: October 4, 2011