A growing number of ophthalmologists and administrators share their experience using CoFi to provide a better patient payment experience.
We recently interviewed Kathy Erickson, Chief Executive Officer at Wilmington Eye, to gain an executive’s perspective on using CoFi.
Wilmington Eye, a CoFi customer since October 2021, serves patients across 11 locations in southeastern North Carolina. They began using CoFi in concert with the opening of their new ASC.
CoFi reduces the burden on their staff around explaining costs to patients and collecting payments. “CoFi makes the process so much simpler because the patient knows exactly what they’re going to owe, not only to the surgeon but also the facility.”
1. If you were talking to another practice administrator who was thinking about using CoFi, what would you tell them?
I would say they absolutely need to look at it. I think that it's a great product that’s made our lives a lot easier. We’re able to do everything seamlessly and we’ve reduced the burden on my staff related to both explaining costs to patients and collecting payments. I highly recommend CoFi, especially if you own your ASC.
2. How did you handle payments to your practice and the facility prior to using CoFi? Prior to using CoFi, we would provide our patients with a form to explain their financial responsibility, eligibility of insurance, and information on items like premium IOLs. At the end of the form, we always had to have the statement about patient responsibility for the facility and other fees associated with the surgery, outside of our practice. We would collect our fees from the patient. They would have to make separate payments, at different points in time, to the ASC and other providers involved in the surgery.
3. What were some of the pain points from your perspective?
The biggest pain point for us was that our patients really didn't have the level of transparency that we wanted them to have. We had no idea what the facility fees would be because the facilities would change them without our knowledge. We could only communicate to our patients that they would have to make an additional payment to the facility.
4. What attracted you to the product?
When we were opening our ASC, we were working with a consultant that recommended CoFi to us. The consultant had another client that used the software for compliance, simplicity, and payment convenience for the patient. We realized CoFi makes the process so much simpler because the patient knows exactly what they’re going to owe, not only to the surgeon but also to the facility.
5. How was it getting your staff up to speed and proficient with CoFi?
One of our biggest changes with implementing CoFi in our practice was adjusting our process. Now, our billing specialists initiate an invoice within CoFi, and the surgery coordinators can access and finalize that invoice after they’ve counseled patients on their different surgery options. We did one-on-one training with each surgery coordinator to demonstrate how we would incorporate CoFi into our internal process.
6. What has been your patients’ and staff’s response since you started using CoFi? Everyone is happier now. Our staff finds it much easier to explain all of the surgery fees and to have the patient pay each provider in one convenient event. Our patients are even paying us earlier because now they know their payment responsibilities to each party at the same time.