Should You Allow Patients to Pay Medical Bills Online?

As the healthcare moves into the digital world, some physicians are setting up systems that allow their patients to pay bills online, and with good reason. Online medical billing can increase compliance with paying medical bills on-time and is often more convenient for both the patient and the physician. However, these systems can be costly to set up and maintain, and making sure patients know about them and use them can be a challenge.

The first thing that has to be taken into account is keeping online medical billing HIPPA-compliant. Since medical information is considered sensitive data, it's very important that the services managing it are secure. It's also important that only the patient sees information relating to the charges. Emails should never be sent with specific billing inquiries or patient information.

Another thing to consider is the cost of implementing such a system. How much will the licensing for the software cost? How much will it be for someone to rework existing infrastructure, like websites and computers, to use the new software? What training is required to use it? All of these are important things to consider.

And, of course, one must consider how the system will be marketed to patients. It doesn't make a difference how much more convenient an online medical billing service is if no one knows about it. Physicians should always determine how they're going to inform their patients of the new online billing options before implementing it. And, like any other technology, the ability to pay without using the online system should still exist.

Only you can determine whether or not online medical billing is right for your practice, but these considerations should weigh into the decision.


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