Why AccessOne is Going to Paperless Communication

Imagine a 12-foot-high wall of paper stretching from New York City to Los Angeles. Imagine it snaking its way through the country – across the Grand Canyon, traversing the Rocky Mountains, across the plains of Nebraska, up through Appalachia, and barreling into the Northeast corridor.

It shouldn’t be difficult to imagine because it’s the amount of paper that is wasted each year in the U.S. By some conservative estimates, paper accounts for approximately 25% of landfill waste in the country. Some think it could be closer to 40%.

At AccessOne we found our contribution to this wasteful problem and set about to change.
Each year we used over 9 million pieces of paper in the form of statements, activation letters, welcome letters, and other notifications. In 2022, we launched a quest to become a truly paperless communication company.

AccessOne is “going green” by Turning Off Paper Communication

The paperless project had a few goals from the outset:

• Eliminate paper where possible

• Optimize patient engagement via digital self-service interactions: text, email, phone calls

• Create opportunities to help our clients accelerate their revenue cycle management

In order to accomplish these goals, we broke the project up into four phases. To start, we eliminated our redundant welcome letter. We also rolled out the ability for patients to activate payment plans via mobile phones (from a text message) and early adopter clients saw immediate returns on those endeavors.

Activation from a text message instead of paper led to patients enrolling in an AccessOne plan sooner, while reducing the labor burden on customer support and IVR services.

The first phase of our “Turn Off Paper” project successfully wrapped last December and helped us eliminate significant yearly mailing costs. Our savings might not be equivalent to that of a large hospital or health system, but as a small, patient-focused business if we can do it anyone in healthcare can too. Especially ones that wants to be planet-friendly without any impact on patients and clients.

Later phases of our project will focus on dropping paper statements and driving mobile payments, which our MobilePay solution already does for our clients who also mail fewer paper statements resulting from the increased payment velocity. Since 80% of payments come within 7 days, it’s not uncommon for revenue cycle teams leveraging MobilePay to suppress the paper collection channel for at least 30 days.

“We suppress paper for all our clients,” says Brian Hall, CEO of Koha Health, a revenue cycle management and advisory firm. “Collecting with MobilePay instead of sending paper allows us to collect at a relatively low cost, drive up our margins, and helps both us and our clients.”

If you are a hospital or health system that is still using mailed paper statements as your primary method of collecting patient payments, we recognize that, like us, you may have a significant investment in using paper, but savings are possible.

Aside from the operational savings, if we could eliminate even half of the paper we generate, we can save over 400 trees per year. Bottom line, the more we go to paperless communication and focus on building out digital channels of engagement, the better stewards we’ll become – for our company, our clients and their patients, and our planet.

Our company motto will forever be “patients first”, but by the end of 2023, our second one will be “paper will always be a back-up option it just doesn’t need to be the first option.”

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