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Running a Mailroom for Patient Statement Services

Patient Statement Services

Mailrooms were an essential part of business enterprises in the 80s and 90s. Today, most mailrooms have gone digital, replaced by email. But traditional mailrooms do continue to exist in certain sectors like universities and hospitals/healthcare facilities.

Patient Statement Services: The Options

Does your physical therapy clinic have your own version of the mailroom for sending out patient statements? These billing statements are clearly an integral key part of a physical therapy practices operations and cash flow. Considering the challenges that some clinics may be facing with timely payments from third party payers, cash payments continue to come in handy.

Another way to send statements is of course electronically via your EMR and/or patient portal. No doubt this is a great option and has a lot going for it.

But traditional billing and mailing methods still have a place. We may be living in the digital age but regular mail does continue to get good responses. The Direct Marketing Association reportedly determined that direct mail averaged a 4.4% response rate vs. 0.12% for email.

Is doing the mailing yourself the best option? What about outsourcing it?

So, to sum up, there are three ways in which physical therapy clinics could handle patient statement services:

  • Mailroom process: Print, stuff, and mail them with your own staff and resources.
  • Digital process: Send statements electronically to patients via your EMR and/or patient portal.
  • Outsourced process: Use an external service that does the printing and mailing for you.

In this blog, we will dive deeper into the third option of outsourced printing and mailing.

Patient Statement Services: Outsourcing It

Doing the mailing in-house demands more time, effort, and cost. Employee time, ink, printing, and postagethose costs quickly add up. Not to mention that mistakes like sending patient statements to the wrong address could potentially leave you with HIPAA violations. Increasing effectiveness and productivity of direct mailing would go a long way.

The answer would lie in automated print and mailing statement workflows and seamless patient billing processes. That is exactly what a top notch outsourced patient statement services provider should deliver. The result would be valuable time saved for clinic staff and faster and more accurate mailing leading to faster collections, reduced costs, and better patient experience. And would free you up to focus on delivering even better care and patient outcomes.

Here are some of the key considerations that should underpin the outsourced mailing process:

  • Institute checks and balances to ensure accuracy of mailing and protect you from HIPAA violations.
  • The statements should incorporate your clinics design and branding to make it seem like they came from you.
  • Include tracking and status updates based on the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB). This is a Postal Service barcode used to sort and track mail and send back tracking information on mail location and expected delivery date and time.
  • Use approved USPS software to arrange mail in the right order, standardize and correct addresses, and print addresses and barcodes in designated areas so as to facilitate proper scanning and ensure that printed IMBs will be accepted by the USPS.

With the benefit of real-time tracking and status updates, you would be able to predict cash flows with greater ease.

Patient Statement Services: Getting Started

The steps along the way to automated mailing would include:

  • Configuring patient statement batches with items like minimum balance and mailing frequency.
  • Picking mailing templates and setting the right colors and branding.
  • Previewing statements, reviewing alerts, and excluding individual patients if needed.
  • Approving and submitting statements to the provider.

Once statements are mailed out, you should be able to stay on top of the process with reports that show patients mailed, balance, date mailed, and mailing delivery status

So, yes, the mail room would continue to operate. You would have just moved it off your premises to a partner who has the solid processes and practices that get you the results you seek. Mailrooms ain’t going out of fashion anytime soon.