Slide Share: Five Strategies to Prevent Sending Patient Accounts to Collections
With patients shouldering a greater portion of their healthcare costs, more self-pay dollars can potentially go to collections agencies―or worse yet, are unpaid altogether. Continue reading for five strategies to help ensure patients pay their balances in full while avoiding collections agencies, thus increasing revenue and decreasing bad debt.
Make it a goal to collect all self-pay balances within 90 days. Communicate this goal to all front-office or patient access staff; in turn, make sure they convey this policy to patients. Set a goal with a reward for your team if a certain percentage of patients pay in full within 90 days.
Automated payment plans or early pay discounts can reduce your need for statements. If statements are your primary source of communication regarding patient balances, however, you may need to send three statements throughout the 90-day period (once a month). Sending automated, electronic statements (eStatements) can improve efficiency when following up with payments, while also reducing associated costs.
Consumers love self-service nearly as much as they love technology: They check into their flights by phone, shop for groceries online and pay for gym memberships with automated debit payments. Anything you can offer, from online check-in and patient account management to kiosks in your registration area, can put patients in the self-service mindset and encourage them to use technology to pay their balances.
Automated payment plans are one of the most effective tools healthcare organizations can use to accelerate cash flow and reduce the cost to collect. Leverage a tool that allows you to enroll patients in an automated plan that makes a monthly charge to a credit or debit card until the balance is paid in full. The patient’s balance will be paid without any work from your team such as processing payments, calling patients or mailing statements.