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Online, Wireless Patient Apps Save Time, Money

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, August 18, 2010
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Self-service applications for patients enhance efficiency and help the environment.

Tenet Healthcare’s patient financial services subsidiary, Conifer Revenue Cycle Solutions, has fully embraced the concept of patient self-service applications. That strategic decision came about not only because it improves work flow and is friendlier to the environment, but it saves huge amounts of money, says Romina White, senior director of patient access operations with Conifer, which handles $10 billion in centralized billing and collections operations annually through seven centralized call centers.

Through the online bill-pay portal, patients can log in to their hospital’s website and through a link pay bills online and set themselves up for automated payment arrangements. Through kiosks, which are located at various points of entry at the hospitals, patients who are scheduled and have been preregistered can quickly check in on the day of their appointment. The check-in process includes validating their account information, requesting changes to information, and signing all of their admission/registration forms electronically.

“It usually only takes about two to three minutes for the kiosk check-in process,” says White. “Now that we have validated that patients have an interest in using this type of technology, we are working to enhance kiosk capabilities to include payment of liabilities, performing a full registration from start to finish, and accessing our online bill-pay portal.”

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