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Medical Offices Feeling Pain of Weakened Economy

$800 Billion Bailout Doesn't Provide Cure

WESTMONT, Ill., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- As the economy continues to weaken, medical offices don't even have immunity to the side effects. The recent $800 billion bailout plan includes money for automating patient records, which may help reduce the cost of delivering healthcare, but nothing to help the doctors' offices get paid by patients.

According to a recent national survey of medical offices conducted by InfoSurv on behalf of EasyPay Solutions, 18 percent of respondents reported that over the last year, patient receivable accounts increased between 10 and 25 percent. Additionally, 28 percent revealed that bad debt expenses, or money not collected from patients, increased between 10 and 25 percent, directly affecting the doctor's take-home income.

"Combine skyrocketing unemployment rates, the collapse of the housing market and the Wall Street crisis and it negatively impacts the financial health of medical offices," reports Dave Crooks, president of EasyPay Solutions, an advanced software product that uniquely solves the problem of collecting patient balances (from patients with the capacity to pay). "With consumers struggling to pay for their mortgage, insurance, groceries and other necessities, medical bills often end up at the bottom of the pile. Studies report that 20 percent of consumers are currently having trouble meeting their medical bills...and the problem may only get worse before it gets better."

The EasyPay survey also reveals that more then 60 percent of medical offices are somewhat or very concerned with the alarming trend of increased bad debt, while nearly 12 percent report that the doctors' take home pay has been negatively impacted due to patient account receivables.

Patient account receivables not only take a financial toll on doctors' offices but on their staffs' time as well. Survey findings reveal that nearly 30 percent of practices dedicate five to ten hours a week collecting from patients, while another 11 percent spend more then 10 hours on the same task. Additional time is spent sending out reminder notices.

"As insurance companies continue to reimburse doctors less and less for procedures and the patient financial responsibility increases, it becomes critical that doctors implement new payment technologies if their practices are going to remain viable," says Crooks. "To help combat this issue, we offer EasyPay, an patient receivables management software product that solves the problem of collecting patient balances utilizing advanced credit/debit card capabilities."

Easy Pay provides patients with additional payment options while helping the provider control the patient payment process. A key component of Easy Pay allows the provider and patient to agree on a maximum "signature on file" amount and later automatically process a transaction for payment when the patient payment amount is finally determined. An automatic email receipt can be sent to the patient for all transactions processed. The doctor is paid immediately without any bad debt exposure, billing costs, or collection expenses.

Patients like credit/debit cards because of the convenience they offer. In the case of credit cards, patients typically receive free miles or cash back from their bank...or other premiums. Additionally, they can time their payments with their financial resources.

"EasyPay makes the bank the banker...and relieves the medical office of the burden of collecting from patients It's the fastest and most cost-effective way to collect from patients...especially in today's economic climate," says Crooks. "For patients with the capacity to pay, the easy prescription is to utilize credit card signatures-on-file. Forget billing patients because patients typically pay their doctor last - it's a waste of time and money and only adds to the cost of delivering healthcare."

See and

SOURCE EasyPay Solutions
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