Though there is a patient responsibility for specialty medical care, this responsibility is not always fulfilled. Patients may default on their medical bills, which results in nearly two million bankruptcies being filed every year in the United States.
Medical care can be costly for patients. Without health insurance, patients will pay an average of $1,100 for a full-body X-ray. Patients with various conditions requiring further treatment may have to fork over more than $30,000 for diagnostic imaging of their ducts, veins, or arteries.
These defaults leave healthcare providers out in the cold when they have to collect payments from patients. To solve their financial quandary, they have to work with patients to take the payments they are owed.
The following are some key considerations for successful healthcare providers when it comes to patient responsibility for billing:
Accept various forms of payment
Some patients will be able to pay through HSA and FSA cards. Others may need to put their medical expenses on their debit and credit cards, or send in payments through eChecks and ACH withdrawals from savings and checking accounts. Healthcare providers must consider accepting all forms of healthcare payments so they can meet the patients’ needs and fulfill patient responsibility for specialty medical care.
Be willing to set up payment plans
Twenty-nine million people are uninsured, and that number may increase under Trumpcare. Many patients are left struggling with massive bills that they cannot even fathom paying. Healthcare providers should give patients the option to set up payment plans and pay off their bills in small chunks until they are fully compensated for treatment.
Allow patients to pay online or by phone
Some patients prefer the phone, while others would rather pay online. Healthcare providers need to have a phone system in place with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and readily available agents. Customers should be able to pay through their debit and credit cards and ACH withdrawals on the phone.
Allow patients to create recurring payments
People get busy and forget to pay their bills. Healthcare providers should allow patients to set up recurring payments on their patient portals and through the telephone to guarantee they will be paid on time every month.
Send out reminders
Even if patients set up recurring payments, it may not be enough to encourage them to pay. They have to be reminded to have money in their accounts so that payment gets processed. Text and email reminders can significantly help with this.
If you are a healthcare provider, and you are struggling with patient payments, contact BillingTree today to determine how we can help you streamline billing and increase collections. Simply contact BillingTree at our website or call us at 877-424-5587.