Obility is a healthcare company and billing service located in Chicago, Illinois. Growing patient payment responsibility challenged Obility to find new ways to collect more payments from patients. Obility identified the biggest challenges to patient collections were patient confusion and a lack of simple, convenient payment and billing options. Read more.
Obility decided to change their approach to patient payment collections to be more proactive and transparent. The billing service wanted to be able to store payment methods on file, collect a percentage of patient responsibility upfront, set up payment plans and have the ability to quickly and easily refund patients in the case of overpayment. Obility also wanted staff to have visibility into all payments coming in through all channels, so they could better understand payment status and determine where they needed to double-down on collection efforts. Finally, they wanted to give patients convenient and simple self-service tools to manage and pay their healthcare bills.
Obility leveraged InstaMed healthcare payment solutions to improve their payment and billing process and to support a new patient communication initiative. With InstaMed’s technology, Obility was able to securely save payment methods on file, set up payment plans and offer a Patient Portal where patients could go online 24/7 to review and pay their healthcare bills. However, Obility understood that in order to get the most out of their new payment technology, they would need to implement a process change, too.
Obility worked to develop a new billing and payments process to improve patient payment collections. After a patient completes a healthcare visit with one of Obility’s provider clients, Obility calls the patient to discuss the patient’s payment responsibility. Obility estimates what the patient will owe and asks to collect 20 percent of the payment upfront. Obility then saves the patient’s payment method on file and works with the patient to determine a payment plan to collect the remaining balance over time.
A statement is generated after the patient receives an explanation of benefits (EOB) from their health plan, and Obility calls the patient again to make sure they understand the bill, remind them that they’ve already set up a payment plan, and ask if the patient has any questions. This is typically a positive conversation because the patient has previously discussed payment responsibility with Obility.
During that initial phone call, Obility also offers patients the opportunity to pay their balance in full for a 10 percent discount off of their balance. If the patient pays in full, but their EOB reveals that they owe less than estimated, Obility immediately issues a refund.
Obility recognized that this new process was not something they could just “flip a switch on” and expect it to work; they understood that they would need to prepare their staff, clients and patients for what they could expect once the new process went live. They created a patient communication initiative and developed communications with patients and clients to prepare them for the new billing process. By the time Obility went live with the new process, all existing patients had been notified.
Obility saw immediate success implementing new payment technology from InstaMed as well as a new billing and payments process. A few months after go-live, Obility started sending out patient surveys to gauge patient satisfaction with the new process, and all patients are responding positively.