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Speaker Q&A: Bruce Gehring

Speaker Q&A: Bruce Gehring Leverage tech for touchless interactions

ATLANTA - As a Medtrade veteran, Bruce Gehring knows the ins and outs of revenue cycles—both in and out of pandemics. HME News caught up with Gehring, senior vice president of business development at Allegiance Group, who will be co-hosting two sessions in Atlanta, about how COVID-19 changed, and is still shaping, billing and collection. 

HME News: How has the pandemic impacted workflow processes and procedures? 

Bruce Gehring: The interesting thing we saw from the impact of the stimulus payments was a reduction in bad debt, since people were not traveling and spending was directed to essentials while under quarantine. As restrictions began to lift this past spring, we have seen a loosening of spending habits and a return to business closer to pre-pandemic levels. However, respiratory segments were stressed the most and continue to be challenged with product recalls and limited supply.    

HME: Allegiance is all about patient pay and debt collections. How has the pandemic impacted that part of the workflow process, specifically? 

Gehring: There have been big changes in front-end processes, focusing on the establishment of online payment and leveraging technology for touchless interactions. They include an emphasis on auto-payments for recurring charges for rentals and resupply; the ability to connect to patients on their terms, besides sending traditional paper statements; and an increase in email and text notifications—more than 50%—since the pandemic. They also include a much higher participation from patients wanting to use a patient portal to self-manage their patient accounts, with 24/7 access to account information and the ability to make payments at their convenience. 

HME: What’s the key to a successful front-office process?  

Gehring: By establishing patient responsibility up front and managing the patient expectations throughout the intake and service delivery process, it will pay big dividends in payer payments and cash recovery.



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