7 Ways Physicians Can Save Money Using the Patient Portal

Sandra Levy


May 01, 2018

In This Article

Let Patients Know They Are Due for Preventive Care

2. Increase Your Revenue During Slow Periods

Physicians are able to run reports in their EHR to identify patients who are due for annual preventive care visits at the beginning of each year. From there, they can easily notify patients via the portal, saving paper, postage, and phone calls.

Providers email patients from within Azalea Health's system, and that message goes directly to the portal. "We don't send patient-specific information to their Gmail or Yahoo account because you can't have patient-specific information within an email or you'd be violating HIPAA regulations," Caley Berkeley, director of client engagement at Azalea Health, explains. "Patients will get an email message in their personal email account saying that they have a new message and to please log into their patient portal."

McNeill communicates with patients using secure messaging through the portal and via an app that patients can access from their smartphone. "What they do on the portal is automatically part of their chart," he adds.

Many Millennials Are Paying Bills Online

3. Patients Can Pay Online

Practices that accept payments through the portal can save time and money used on phone calls, printing, and mailing patient statements.

According to Tom Furr, CEO of PatientPay, a payments company based in Durham, North Carolina, patients open email alerts about their account an average of 61.4% of the time from the portal, and 53% are likely to pay their bill by clicking on the links in that same alert. Another 41%, Furr reports, are likely to pay their bill from a text alert. Overall, email alerts via the portal cost the practice around 82% less than nondigital reminders.

"The patient has the convenience right there; the bill is in the inbox. The first thing they say is, 'I'm going to log into the website to pay the bill,'" says Moghadas.

Many patients, especially millennials, are increasingly paying their bills online. In fact, the percentage of bills paid by mail declines with each younger generation—down to 15% for millennials—while online bills as a percentage of total bills increases: millennials at 61%, Gen Xers at 60%, baby boomers at 52%, and seniors at 42%, according to ACI Universal Payments.[3]


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