We have now entered 2019. And, that means deductibles on insurance policies have reset. For a few months, patients will pay out of their own pockets. This worries healthcare practices. Cash flow is already a problem. However, at this time of year, the concerns about patients failing to make payments are even more well-founded. How can you make sure your patients will pay in a timely manner? Finding the right solutions for healthcare patient payments could be the answer. So, how can you maximize your collections for 2019?
One option that you could put in place for 2019 is to ask patients to pay upfront. Your front desk team will need to collect the copays. Asking for a deposit upfront is an effective way to ensure the practice breaks even or makes a profit.
Another option is to take card details from the patient and keep them on file. This will be for the amount you estimate he or she will eventually owe. Should the patient then fail to pay, you can charge that card as a backup.
If your patients will be paying at EOB, a proactive campaign will be necessary to guarantee payment. You’ll need an active marketing strategy to ensure they know how much to pay and each payment’s due date. E-mail, mail, and text reminders, as well as phone calls, will reinforce the message.
Payment In 45 Days
Another alternative is to put in place 45-day payment terms. If you opt for this strategy, patients will be under less pressure to pay. However, following up and marketing are vital. You may even want to consider rewarding patients with a discount for timely payments. These payment terms allow you to begin following up at 20 to 25 days rather than waiting until EOB. The practice will then have the benefit of more time to send the invoice. After sending the invoice, there should be an aggressive follow-up strategy put in place. E-mail, telephone, and text reminders should be sent every two to three days. One way of ensuring payment is to schedule the follow-up call at the time the patients are in your office. That will prepare them to take that call without thinking it’s all about collections.
You can begin that follow-up conversation by asking about their experience in your office. Ask about the office and medical staff’s treatment and then about how they’re feeling. Finally, bring up payment and ask if they’re prepared to pay. If not, ask when they will be paying or whether putting a payment plan in place would help. This is a very beneficial strategy. You’ll not only discover your patients’ opinions, but you’ll also put payment at the forefront of their minds.
Online Payment Portals
Patients need to have a convenient method through which to make payments. The best solutions for healthcare patient payments enable patients to use their preferred payment methods. They can use the card of their choice through a web portal or an IVR telephone system. With access 24/7, it becomes a lot more convenient to make payments in a timely manner. For practices, the benefits come in the form of a streamlined system that frees up staff time. Without having to expend staff effort on handling paper checks, cash flow increases. It also improves accessibility.
BillingTree offers cutting-edge solutions for healthcare patient payments. We designed our CareView solutions to meet the specific needs of medical practices. Flexible and easy to integrate, our solutions will help your practice to be ready for the challenges of 2019.