Friday, July 19, 2024
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CRMC Trying To Make Patient Payment Easier

Cookeville Regional Medical Center exploring new ways to ease the process of paying for treatment.

Chief Information Officer Tim McDermott said when visiting the hospital, patients often get care from contracted providers like hospitalists, surgeons, and anesthesia providers. He said those providers handle their own billing separately from the hospital, and some patients may be confused about where some billing information is coming from. He said in addition to the names of those providers the hospital already provides, patient consent forms are set to begin including phone numbers as text communication becomes more popular.

“I know many people get messages, texts or emails, alerting to hospital bills that are due that are technically scams and not legitimate,” McDermott said. “So, we’re just wanting to give them a reference that they can refer back to and have a confidence level that what they’re clicking on or looking at is valid.”

McDermott said the hospital is also looking into launching an app that will consolidate the billing process. He said the app would include features designed to make life easier for patients by storing credit card information for future payments and allowing payment plan setup.

“We want them to be able to focus on getting better and not worrying about the financial aspect,” McDermott said. “So, I know nobody enjoys paying hospital bills, paying things that aren’t fun. So this really just gives them a place where they can easily see the charges that were incurred.”

He said the app would also give patients access to details like what was received from insurance, adjustments to bills, and a schedule of financial responsibilities over time.

“It’s actually going to be termed patient financial experience,” McDermott said. “And it’s just going to have a lot of great features that make the patient’s life easier.”