Roughly 7,000 patients paid bills online after the hospital adopted the new bill collection option, which Small said she believed would improve patient satisfaction at a time when demand from patients across her local market had declined. The increase in online payments led to 16 job cuts because less manual intervention is needed to process bills.
Patients are consumers who take into account everything from the quality of medical care to how the hospital bills for its services, she said. “They are using the web and they are anxious to get all they can out of it.” Meanwhile, hospitals are seeking to collect cash more quickly, she said. “Everyone wants to increase that cash flow.”
The hospital also used its online bill collection site to comply with new requirements for tax-exempt hospitals under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, she said. The healthcare reform law, which is facing a legal challenge before the Supreme Court, requires that hospitals promote their charity care policies. Boca Raton Regional includes charity-care information with its online billing resources, she said.
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