It is not a lot of fun to collect patient payments. However, a large percentage of your practice’s revenue now comes from patients’ pockets. Healthcare organizations can no longer deny the importance of proper management of patient payments. High deductibles have a key role to play when it comes to patients’ out-of-pocket costs. Patients are increasingly having to pay higher percentages of their care themselves. This amounts to thousands of dollars. It is, therefore, impossible to avoid collecting payments from patients. If you have not already made the collection of patient payments your priority, it is time for a change. There are a number of strategies to improve your success in patient payment collection. From introducing electronic payments for healthcare to handling patients more effectively upfront, there are several changes to put in place.
Request Payment Firmly
It can be difficult to ask patients for payments. However, your front desk staff should not feel bad about asking patients for money. You must tell your patients about copays and deductibles up front. It is important for staff members to also try to collect payments before appointments whenever possible.
Another useful change to put in place is automated processes. E-statements are a good choice for any practice. The staff will save time and the practice will save money.
When you switch to e-statements, you still need to regularly contact patients. Forget paper statements and switch to more expedient media formats.
Change to A Bi-Weekly Payment Cycle
Your practice is probably used to a 30-day payment cycle. Let that go and switch to a bi-weekly payment cycle instead. As long as you have informed your patients about their obligations, this will work.
Working with Patients
The majority of your patients will be keen to make payments. Understanding their payment capabilities and needs is key if that is to become possible. Successful practices have clear policies about which they tell their patients upfront. However, staff must also be sympathetic to unexpected circumstances or when the patient’s needs exceed his or her payment capabilities. Putting in place a payment plan can help all parties to be satisfied in the end.
Offering A Choice of Payment Options
Practices that only accept checks are planning for failure. Finding better ways to collect patient payments is important. Take card details upfront and keep them on file. This will eliminate problems with taking payments after treatment. Also, offer a web portal so patients can make payments at the time of their choice. They can use their preferred payment methods from their smartphones or PCs. This convenience makes it more likely that your practice will receive timely payments.
Making Changes for The Better
It is a challenging time for healthcare practices. However, putting changes in place can make a big difference. Staying on top of copays and patient balances may be hard, but it can keep cash flowing. This is especially important in the current financial healthcare climate. Using the latest technology in conjunction with clear policies and effective staff training will make your practice more successful. Working closely with patients will also help to improve the status quo.
The time has come to carry out an assessment of your organization’s patient collection practice. Is it working for you? By assessing the current state of affairs and making some adaptations, both your patients and your practice can benefit. By putting in place options, such as electronic payments for healthcare, your patients will be better able to pay. As a result, your practice will flourish and go from strength to strength.