Electronic check-in saves time, money


Small practices should consider cost-effectiveness when looking into patient check-in systems

A: This technology saves staff time and improves patient service. Patients feel as if they are in control and don't have to wait for staff. The check-in process may be as extensive as accepting patient co-pays and directly transferring those payments to your bank account or automatically verifying a patient's insurance eligibility, which could eliminate a claim denial.

Have you calculated the staff cost involved in payment processing and insurance eligibility verification? The technology even allows patients to complete medical and social family histories and provide a review of systems. Think about how much time it would save your staff member who enters data. The cost of these solutions can range from free to several thousand dollars, but you won't know their value until you calculate what it costs you to do it the old-fashioned way.

Answers to readers' questions were provided by Rosemarie Nelson, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group, Jamesville, New York. She is an editorial consultant for Medical Economics. Send your tech questions to Also engage at and

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