Whether it’s a grocery cart full of food, an oil change at the car dealer, or a burger at a restaurant, you made a purchase and are expected to pay for the goods and services. It seems logical, right?
Now think about what happens when you need to see a doctor, get a diagnostic test, or even be admitted to the hospital. You will likely pay a co-pay, and there will be a patient due balance even after the co-pay and the insurance payment is posted. Sending electronic (and paper) statements has been the historical way to collect the money owed, but there are other payment options available today that should be considered regardless of practice size and specialty. Unfortunately, healthcare has been lenient when it comes to collecting patient-owed balances, and most will agree that it is time to change this long-overdue mentality.
Healthcare entities must be willing to adopt new technologies and implement financial best practice strategies. After all, it’s your money, and you need to collect what is owed to you. When it comes to collecting patient-owed balances, determine if your vendor offers one or more contactless payment options. Offering contactless payment options will surely prompt patients (consumers) to pay faster and will likely help reduce confusion.
In today’s digital world, people spend hours a day on their phones. It makes sense to provide them with options to pay their medical bills. Convenience is key.
Below are several patient payment trends to consider implementing in your practice:
Auto Pay – Authorize the patient’s credit card upfront and automatically charge the card after insurance has cleared. Not only is this convenient for patients, but it will also save staff time and reduce statement expenses.
Guest Pay – There is no registration required. The patient statement would include a unique code that makes it easy for patients to pay online and avoid over/underpayments. This can make it easier for patients to quickly access their balance and pay their bills without having to set up a username and password.
Payment Plans – Staff and patients can set up automated payment plans to increase office efficiency. Automated payment plans make it easier for practices to collect money and allow patients to handle large statement balances without the uncomfortable feeling of calling. Set the rules and allow patients to set up a payment plan from the privacy of their home or facilitate it discreetly at your practice.
Text to Pay – Makes it convenient for patients to pay their balance. With over 98% of texts being read within 90 seconds, Text to Pay can speed up the collection process and reduce days in A/R.
Minimize the challenges around collecting patient balances. Look for options that make sense for your patient population and proactively market the convenience to your patients.