How technology can help you make your practice profitable

Published: Thursday, 09 December 2021 14:45

Technology has a crucial role in driving our national economic recovery from the Pandemic. Rishi Sunak, made investment in innovation a theme of his budget last month and has spoken of the ‘critical role’ that tech firms will play in the UK’s future prosperity. This is equally true on a microeconomic level because technology can help businesses to operate efficiently, manage their income and seize the new opportunities that arise.

In the independent healthcare sector, there are grounds for optimism about the prospects for growth in the self-pay market. Recent surveys by the charity Engage Britain and YouGov (commissioned by PHIN) have shown that more people are more ready to consider paying for medical treatment following the pandemic and a report by analysts LaingBuisson predicted that the self-pay market would expand by 10-15% over the next three years.

However, it is important to ensure that an increased level of activity translates into a healthier balance sheet. Having the right technology to manage your practice can make the difference between running a profitable business and running yourself into the ground.

Here are just some of the ways Healthcode can help.

Invoice at the click of a button

You may be seeing more patients come through your practice but you still need to ensure you get paid. An efficient and accurate invoicing operation for PMI and self-funded patients is the single most important thing you can do for your practice finances.

Healthcode’s technology enables you to create and send invoices to all the major PMIs, self-funded patients and other payors:

  • Time-saving shortcuts
    For example, our invoice auto-population feature means that if you have treated a patient in a hospital setting, you can search for them on the system and generate an invoice with the correct patient and episode details already completed. All you need to do is add your own fee from your pre-set schedule of prices.
  • Healthcode’s Clearing Service
    Submit invoices to all the major PMIs from one place. Each is automatically checked against the relevant PMI criteria, such as the correct procedure code and description. Errors and anomalies are instantly flagged so they can be corrected and re-submitted and a status display shows that the invoice has been successfully submitted.
  • Online Payments via patientzone
    Practitioners and clinics who are registered with patientzone can send electronic invoices to non-PMI payors such as self-funded patients, embassies etc and provide the convenience of secure online payment. The latest version enables users to send shortfall letters, details of debt reallocations and payment reminders.
  • A paper invoicing option
    An invoice template ensures that these are clearly laid out and meet industry standards.
  • Mobile invoicing
    Available on the ePractice iOS app, you can set up and send an electronic invoice from your phone or tablet while away from the office.

Payment tracking and collection

An effective and efficient system for recording money received will allow you to focus on collecting outstanding invoices. However, this process is not always straightforward as PMI payments may cover several invoices and there will sometimes be a shortfall amount to be reallocated to the patient. With ePractice you can:

  • Record and reconcile payments
    The payment tracking section of ePractice Lite and Pro makes it easy to find and allocate PMI payments to the correct invoices so your accounts receivable is up to date. Where PMIs send electronic remittances (AXA Health, Aviva, Bupa and Cigna), the system analyses the remittance advice and generates a summary that assigns the payment to one or more invoices for the user to then confirm.
    For non-PMI payors, online payments via patientzone allows you to set your account to send an email or text confirming an invoice has been paid. Their ePractice account is then automatically updated within 30 minutes so they can keep track of payments.
  • Reallocate debts
    In the event of a shortfall, you can reallocate the debt and create a shortfall letter for the relevant patient which automatically completes the invoice details and outstanding balance. Healthcode users who are registered with patientzone can send these shortfall letters and payment reminders, electronically.

Financial information

Every practice management system should provide a range of real-time financial reporting options, so you can monitor your practice’s vital signs. Healthcode’s ePractice includes more than 20 types of financial reports, all of which can be exported to other software so they can be anonymised and shared with your business advisor or accountant.

Here are five of most frequently used:

  • Aged debt analysis displays outstanding debt by patients and segments the debt by aged bands (eg. 0-30 days, 31 - 60 days, 61 - 90 days outstanding). It is an essential tool for credit control in any business.
  • Outstanding invoices by payor shows all invoices with a current outstanding balance by payor type, including or excluding shortfalls. This makes it easy to see who requires a payment reminder.
  • Invoice listing by payor provides a summary of invoices, by payor, for a requested date range. A filter allows you to view outstanding or settled invoices.
  • The payment summary report shows the payments received, by invoice, within a selected date range. Enables you to keep track of what has been paid and the payment method used.
  • Financial snapshot provides a snapshot for the selected period, including the total number of invoices with values for payments, refunds and debts. It also provides a total of the debt outstanding at the start and end of the period.

For further advice on the invoicing, payment tracking and reporting functionality in ePractice, contact our customer services team on 0330 900 4900