Patient portals help practices build patient engagement, even when it’s a matter of collecting payments.
For Jennifer Cossin, billing manager at Central Ohio Surgical Associates, the portal’s abilities go beyond collection.
“You absolutely need an online presence today,” Jennifer said. “But there are a lot of things that we could do with our portal, but we just don’t … like marketing.”
By adopting best practices today and thinking about ways to use it tomorrow, providers can harness the full potential of their portal.
The power to collect
Like many practices, Central Ohio Surgical Associates has experienced the advantages of a patient portal. Currently, Jennifer uses the portal for collections.
As a biller, she appreciates how easily she can relay information about payment plans and online payment options, which helps her collect revenue for her practice. It also helps staff stay in touch with patients when there is an address change, or when they have an outstanding balance.
When Central Ohio Surgical Associates came back in network with a large subset of its former patients, it used the patient portal to notify them. The practice reached nearly 1,000 patients without expending a great deal of time or energy.
“That, to me, was pretty fantastic,” Jennifer said. “That was a great way to reach out to patients en masse and let them know without having to lick envelopes.”
Extending patient access doesn’t necessarily mean keeping your office open late into the night.
By using the portal instead of filling out paperwork at the office, patients can update their insurance and address information at their leisure. The portal lets practices share information about scheduling, appointments, billing, and other topics day or night without adjusting staff workflows.
The portal’s potential
While your patient portal has this power now, and you may be taking advantage of all these benefits, there’s potential for improved patient care further ahead.
Jennifer’s husband, a truck driver in Ohio, is subject to an annual Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) physical. As a diabetes patient, he needed to provide the ODOT physician with his latest A1C numbers. He was not allowed to work until he provided this information, but with the help of his patient portal, he delivered it to the ODOT physician and was quickly cleared to get back on the road.
“My husband can barely send an email,” Jennifer said. His patient portal worked for him, however, and he was able to avoid a lapse in work.
With the right patient portal, your patients have instant access to their medical records, and you can reach out to patients at any time.
Do you use your patient portal to its full potential? In Part 2 of this Greenway Health blog series, we discuss how to market your practice using a patient portal.
For more information, click here to schedule a conversation with a Greenway representative.