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, benefits of the patient portal go beyond collection.
“You absolutely need an online presence today,” Cossin said. “But there are a lot of things that we could do with our portal, but we just don’t … like marketing.”
Most practices offer a patient portal or are working to implement one. Nine out of 10 respondents to a Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) poll said they offer a patient portal, while many of the remaining 10% said they intend to offer one soon.
By adopting best practices today and thinking about how its utilization will evolve with healthcare innovation, providers can harness the potential of their portal.
The power to collect
Like many practices, Central Ohio Surgical Associates experiences the benefits of a patient portal. Currently, the practice uses their portal for collections.
As a biller, Cossin appreciates how easily she can relay information about payment plans and online payment options. This helps her collect revenue for her practice. It also helps staff keep in touch with patients when there is an address change, or if 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,” Cossin said. “That was a great way to reach out to patients and let them know without having to lick envelopes.”
Extending patient access doesn’t necessarily mean keeping your office open late into the night.
Instead of filling out paperwork at the office, patients can use the portal to 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.
“That, to me, was pretty fantastic. [...] That was a great way to reach out to patients en masse and let them know without having to lick envelopes.”
Jennifer Cossin, billing manager at Central Ohio Surgical Associates
The portal’s potential
While your patient portal has power now, and you may be taking advantage of all its 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,” Cossin said. Still, the patient portal worked for him, 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.
For more information, CLICK HERE to schedule a conversation with a Greenway representative. Or watch our 3-minute overview video HERE.