Receiving payments from your patients is an increasing priority for providers across the country. Health plans with high deductibles are a recent trend for individuals who do not expect to spend much on their medical care. The adverse reaction of this trend is that patients are being held answerable for a much larger portion of their medical expenses than is the past. While this may not be a problem for some providers, many providers are seeing a heavy impact on their bottom line as they struggle to get payments from their patients. As patient payments become increasingly important to the financial success of small practices, providers must consider making certain adjustments to empower their patients. Offering payment method alternatives is essential to achieving higher percentages of this. Where insurance companies once paid your practice, your patients now do. Keep reading to learn how to address your new revenue reality.
Understanding the Patient:
An important first step to increasing your patient payments is to understand what your patients are looking for. Where in-office visits were once the expectation in the medical community, telehealth and e-visits have taken their place. Where patients used to write checks, the now use their card for nearly everything. Where patients once called their provider to ask questions, they are now sending you messages online. Most of your patients are living their lives digitally now more than ever. Their days are too busy or them to work and stay actively engaged with their provider face-to-face. But there still exists the patient who prefers the traditional way of receiving medical care. This is exactly why you need options for every kind of patient.
Patient Payment Options:
For your patient that is unchanging and longs for the traditional way of doing things, you should still offer in-person methods to process patient payments. The important thing to understand is that even those patients are still using their debit or credit card for nearly all their purchases. You should offer an in-office payment option that encourages patients to process their payments with a credit card. Your office should encourage patients to make their payments in-office before services are rendered in order to secure your payment and protect your bottom line.
Offering your patients an online option is absolutely essential if you want to see a positive development in your patient payments. Payment integration with your patient portal ensures your patients a simple way to better understand their medical bill as well as encourage them to pay on their bill. With an online option, your patients can make their payments when it is most convenient for them through 24/7 access to their billing account.
It is estimated that the average individual in the United States spends roughly 3.5 hours on their phone each day. For this reason, it is important that providers offer mobile accessibility for patient payments. Quality software should offer mobile patient portal access. Mobile access encourages more payments by sending your patients payment reminders, securely storing their card information and allowing them to process their payment from wherever they are. This is great for patients who are constantly on-the-go or patients who are better engaged on their mobile devices than other options.
Offering these three methods is not only important to increasing the number of patient payments you receive, but also improving the patient experience. Medical expenses are frustrating and intimidating for a lot of patients. By giving them options that make sense to them, you encourage them and give them better peace-of-mind. To learn more about how your practice can offer these great patient payment options, click here.