Continually improving every patient encounter is a top priority at UF Health, and the billing and payment process is no exception.
Patients will soon benefit from a new and improved, streamlined “single statement” billing system after receiving care at UF Health Shands or UF Health Physicians. Thanks to the collaboration between UF Health Patient Financial Services and UF Health’s Physicians’ Billing and Accounts Receivable teams, the new process simplifies communications with a clear snapshot of what patients owe for services provided across our organization.
Traditionally, patients who received care from these providers received two separate billing statements — one for charges from UF Health Physicians and one for hospital fees from UF Health Shands. The two bills looked different and provided different contact information and websites for the separate finance and billing teams. The bills didn’t clearly outline details about the services provided and patients found them confusing.
“With the old statements, the biggest issues were a lack of proper itemization and the multiple separate bills, which increased incoming customer service calls,” said Melanie Dugan, UF Health Customer Service Department manager. “This really drove the change to the system.”
The new statement and payment system — launching on April 23 — streamlines multiple invoices into a single summary, which includes details about each service charge, what insurance has paid and the total amount due from the patient. This simplified, yet comprehensive, overview helps patients more easily understand their fees for care received by different teams for different services.
Patients will also have the option to receive their statements electronically and pay fees online via MyUFHealth (UFHealth.org/mychart). This is an expanded function of the patient portal, which also lets people view test results, request medication refills, see scheduled appointments and send messages to their care provider.
Dugan expects this option to be popular.
“I think we’re going to get great feedback,” she said. “Most people on MyUFHealth are responsive and Internet savvy, and we expect that population to adopt the billing feature. But I also think we’ll draw new users to MyUFHealth who are interested in an easier way to pay.”
Patients can still send a check through the mail or pay over the phone, if they prefer.
Single billing helps avoid duplicate payments and reduces waste through fewer paper statements. Fusing the hospital and physician systems will make it easier for customer service representatives to quickly address patient concerns.
Dugan said, “We hope that this format will give patients a better level of understanding and feel more in control of their payments. It will also help our team work more efficiently and cut costs that were associated with the previous system.”