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Patient fees can be a complex matter, no matter whether you're dealing with a private or public healthcare provider. These fees typically include both statutory and provider-specific charges, often capped at certain maximum limits. Payments may be collected entirely from the patients or partially covered by Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland), insurance companies, or other entities.

Managing this intricate system requires expertise from patient information system providers and payment system providers. When information systems accurately determine the correct pricing – that is, how much a patient should pay for a service – the majority of the subsequent manual work can be automated or shifted towards self-service. Patients can pay for their visits without the need for human interaction.

Handling visit fees through self-service brings tangible benefits to healthcare organizations. Let's dive into the key advantages:

  1. Direct cost savings through reduced cashier staff: When patients and information systems handle payments without the need for staff intervention, it translates into saved work hours and, consequently, money.
  2. Improved patient experience: Patients no longer need to wait unnecessarily at service points after their visits. The number of self-service kiosks can be easily increased to ensure sufficient capacity. Alternatively, patients can handle self-service payments entirely through their mobile phones. Patients who prefer not to use these payment methods can still receive invoices automatically in paper or electronic format – with an added billing fee, of course.
  3. Faster cash flow: When patients pay their visits through self-service, the money is collected approximately 60 days faster on average, especially when compared to traditional billing models where all payments are automatically sent as invoices with a 30-day payment term. In a world of rising interest rates, a quicker payment cycle in itself holds considerable value.

Each day, hundreds of customer payment transactions go through Axel Health’s system and the number is growing rapidly. We are at the forefront of healthcare self-service solutions, and developing self-service payment solutions has been a natural part of our efforts aimed at automating administrative processes. Our latest advancements in this field have been in our neighboring country, Sweden, where we created an efficient self-service solution by integrating the TakeCare patient information system with Axel. Patients can now pay for their visits while checking in at a self-service terminal.

Download the Axel Encounter brochure to learn more about our self-service solutions.

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Ilari Laaksonen

Author: Ilari Laaksonen

CEO, Axel Health