At North Sunflower Medical Center (NSMC), revenue cycle management is more than a business process.
As the rural healthcare hub dedicated to improving the lives of the people in the Mississippi Delta, NSMC is woven into the fabric of its community. Any solution the hospital implements is used by its neighbors, church members—even friends and family.
The hospital needed a process for collecting on self-pay patient balances that aligned with its community-oriented, personalized approach to every patient’s financial experience.
Challenge: A Payment Process that Was Hampering Financial and Patient Experience Goals
Before implementing PayZen, NSMC’s billing and payment process wasn’t yielding the outcomes it needed. Though NSMC has a 15-person billing team, it wasn’t able to effectively track or follow up on late payments.
Accounts often went unpaid, and the hospital frequently wrote off the unpaid balances. Cash flow suffered. And without data on its collection rates, the hospital wasn’t able to pinpoint specific problem areas.
At the same time, NSMC’s commercial business was growing, so the hospital needed a solution that would help it track and collect on balances on both sides of the business to improve its financials and accelerate cash. The hospital wanted to achieve all these goals while maintaining patient loyalty and fostering a patient experience that reflected the hospital’s dedication to the Mississippi Delta community.
Solution: Making a “No-Lose” Decision
Rodney Clark, COO at NSMC, serves on a Rural Health Solutions board, where one of his responsibilities is vetting and recommending vendors to his health system peers. Through his work on the board, Rodney spoke with an associate at the Mississippi Hospital Association who asked him to explore PayZen as a solution for revenue cycle management.
Once Rodney took a closer look at PayZen’s approach to patient payments, “It was clear that it was a no-lose situation,” he recalls. NSMC would be able to upgrade its revenue cycle without any additional costs until cash was collected. The hospital’s leadership team couldn’t find any objections to implementing the PayZen solution.
What stood out most about PayZen was its 100% patient approval rate and its alignment with NSMC’s focus on a personalized experience. The platform allows patients to set up automatic payments at their convenience without interest or fees.
NSMC also took advantage of the ability for its patients to receive automated emails and text messages to enroll in a payment plan —with all communications featuring NSMC branding, so patients knew who they were working with.
Results: A Productive Revenue Cycle that Supports a Refreshed Patient Financial Experience
After an implementation period of just one month that required no IT spend or software licensing, NSMC saw almost immediate ROI. The NSMC revenue cycle team no longer has to dedicate resources to tracking patient payments and reconciling A/R. The team has refocused revenue cycle resources towards new initiatives that support a positive patient financial experience.
Meanwhile, since implementing PayZen, NSMC has enrolled over $400K in patient payment plans and has received pre-funding without recourse.
The hospital continues to receive positive feedback on its decision to implement PayZen. Patients have shared that it’s easy to use, and that it’s helped them create payment arrangements that fit with their budgets and financial needs. They especially enjoy feeling empowered to take charge and set up arrangements themselves.
“We’re no longer burning unnecessary resources tracking down payments. PayZen has helped us align our staff’s efforts with initiatives that support the future of NSMC in our community.” —Rodney Clark, COO
NSMC’s billing team is now in a solid position to stay ahead of the diverse challenges that rural hospitals are facing in the Delta. NSMC is looking forward to continual improvement of its financial position while investing in the newest healthcare technologies and providing patient-friendly and timely billing to the Ruleville community.
To learn how your organization can see results like NSMC did, get in touch with us today.