Providers everywhere are relying heavily on patient payments to sum up the majority of revenue in their practices in 2020. As medical practices rely less on large entity payers, it is important to take extra measures to protect and collect more patient payments in 2020. Patient payment collections are the key to making sure your practice adjust to this financial change. The good news is, there are steps providers can take to increase patient payment collections in 2020 without overworking themselves.
Steps to Improve Patient Payment Collections
1) Payment Policy
Implementing a payment policy at your practice is an important dynamic when it comes to increasing patient payment collections. More often than not, patients are unaware of their provider’s payment policy and this can result in a few different challenges. When your patient is unaware of your policy, they are not knowledgeable of their responsibility toward their bill and what your practice expects of them once services have been rendered. They also are not aware of the steps your practice takes should that bill not be paid on time. Implementing a payment policy and keeping your patients aware of that policy improves patient payment collections by improving awareness and expectations so that a patient can plan accordingly.
2) Appointment/Payment Reminders
Increasing patient payment collections revolves around keeping your patients aware and informed of their situation so that they not only understand their role but also remember to stay on track. A common reason patients do not pay their bill is that they simply forget to. By keeping up with appointment reminders, providers are able to prompt payment at that time and by implementing billing reminders, providers can help their patients stay on top of unplanned medical expenses.
3) Tools to Stay Informed
Keeping your patients informed of your policies and reminding them of their obligation are the first two steps to increasing patient payment collections. The next step is to offer your patients the tools they need to stay independently informed. The patient portal and mobile app are two great tools that encourage patient payment collections without stretching your team too thin. When your patient portal is billing-integrated, patients can log-in to view both their personal health information as well as view their billing information. Simple access in the form of a patient portal and mobile app empowers your patients to pay their bills rather than fear and ignore them.
4) Variety of Payment Options
Each one of your patients is different. They have different health concerns, lead different lives, and prefer different methods to both receive their medical care and pay their medical bills. Some of your patients might prefer telehealth as opposed to an in-office visit. Others might prefer the traditional phone call reminder in contrast to text/email reminders. In the same vein of thinking, some of your patients prefer certain payment methods and options over others. Providers looking to increase patient payment collections should make sure they offer a variety of payment options to their patients to make it most convenient for them. These options should include digital payment processing, credit card payments, in-office processing, and even traditional mail-in payment options. The more choices your practice offers, the more likely you are to see an increase in patient payment collections.
5) Outsource Strenuous Collections
When it comes to payments that have been in collections for an extended length of time, your practice does not have time to waste to try and collect them. Outsourcing strenuous collection not only removes the burden from your team but increases patient payment collections. A quality vendor is able to offer time, compassion, empathy, and solutions to your patients facing overwhelming medical expenses. Providers who outsource difficult collections often see an increase in payments received.
To learn more about how to execute these steps toward increased patient payment collections, click here.