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nTelagent's Self-Pay Management System Decreases Bad Debt by Providing Interactive, Real-Time Scripting for Patient Access Staff
March 12, 2008 (Nashville, Tenn.) --- Nashville, Tenn.-based nTelagent, Inc. today announced that its proprietary front-end business solution, the Self-Pay Management System (SPMS), offers a one-stop solution for healthcare providers seeking to increase upfront cash and overall collections by supporting patient access staff with appropriate tools and scripting. nTelagent’s system improves upfront and overall cash flow, receivables and profitability by reducing bad debt and improving the revenue cycle process for patients who must pay a portion of the bill through payment requirements, such as co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles.
Historically the patient access department of a healthcare facility has been responsible for such tasks as scheduling, registration and admissions. Today, however, the responsibilities of patient access departments are far more comprehensive than in the past, and can have a major impact on a facility’s revenue cycle. Patient access staff are now reviewing referrals, obtaining authorizations, verifying eligibility, validating demographic information, determining charity care and discounts, requesting payment at time of service, and other complex tasks that were once handled in other areas of a facility. As the number of self-pay patients rises, the frequency of such duties will only increase. It is often the case, however, that staff members are not provided with the proper tools, training or support to effectively manage their new responsibilities.
According to Earl T. Winter, Chairman and CEO of nTelagent, “We all are coming to realize that the key to an effective revenue cycle strategy begins in the patient access area. But today’s patient access office executives, financial counselors and registrars are being asked to take on a variety of new tasks, often without effective tools and support in place, resulting in an inefficient revenue cycle.”
“Real-time scripting for registrars and financial counselors at the workstation expands individual responsibility and improves collections,” notes Winter. “As patient access staff’s organizational structure and areas of responsibility continue to evolve, the information at their fingertips should do the same.”
For more information, download the Issue Brief “Supporting Patient Access Staff with an Interactive Scripting Solution” from nTelagent’s website, www.ntelagent.com.
With the ever-increasing duties of the patient access staff, coupled with the lack of available tools and training, it is no wonder that mistakes happen. For example, many patients eligible for government and charity care assistance often are not identified or handled consistently. Patients can slip through without their personal information verified, and without any financial counseling or collections. When eligibility is not verified upfront, more patient claims can be denied, payments can be slowed, and more claims will need to be reworked. For the growing number of self-pay patients, specifically, the only opportunity for obtaining reimbursement of any kind is to collect cash at point of service.
Recruiting, training and retaining the workforce to staff the patient access department, while keeping up with regulatory requirements and a highly complex billing environment, is increasingly difficult. “As the healthcare environment becomes more and more complex, sustainable investment in staff tools and training, as well as proper recognition and rewarding of staff, is critical. Our Self-Pay Management System effectively supports registrars and financial counselors, which results in both an improved work environment and revenue cycle process,” says Winter.
The Self-Pay Management System is an effective means of streamlining, simplifying and clarifying the patient access staff’s responsibilities. Producing customized, scripted information based on a service provider’s own business rules, the system intuitively guides patient access staff through complex revenue cycle processes, such as eligibility verification, demographic validation, payment assessment, Medicaid and charity care qualification, and pricing transparency at their desktop.
About nTelagent, Inc.
nTelagent, a Nashville, Tenn.-based company, enables healthcare service providers to revolutionize the way they interact with patients regarding patient responsibilities at the point of service, including offering price transparency and medical financing options. The company’s Self-Pay Management System increases upfront cash and overall collections by providing registrars and financial counselors with interactive scripts that integrate patient demographic information with each provider’s unique business policies and rules. The system automatically identifies discounting and charity care options when applicable, and helps to ensure that patient financial accounting--for both insured and uninsured patients--is handled appropriately and in a non-discriminatory manner. For healthcare providers, nTelagent’s system improves upfront and overall cash flow, receivables and profitability by reducing bad debt and improving the revenue cycle process for patients who must pay a portion of the bill through payment requirements, such as co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles. Visit nTelagent online at www.ntelagent.com to learn more.
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