A new study hot-off-the-press makes the same conclusion I’ve seen studies make for the last ten years. The percentages are a little higher but the trend continues. Patients don’t like phone calls concerning their balances. They prefer anything BUT a phone call. Consider this key finding from the study:
“A business office who can only contact a patient by phone faces an uphill battle as over 90% of the 1,000 consumers surveyed would prefer to be contacted differently. Patients, even with time-sensitive financial matters, prefer an email or letter over a call or voice-mail. This highlights the overwhelming importance of obtaining communication consent (email, mobile, text) before the medical event or shortly after.” Intelligent Contacts 2018, Communication and Payment Preferences of Patients with High Balances and Past Due Accounts
The study goes on to show just how ineffective and unwanted phone calls are. When given the choice, patients actually prefer paper notices over phone calls. But the overwhelming majority want to pay online or via email or text.
If your practice doesn’t have modern tools to give patients options for payment, you are missing time and money saving opportunities to get paid.
Below is a graphic we published earlier this year. It outlines the 5 essential technology tools practices need to implement in order to get paid. Notice that the phone is not one of them! Phone calls waste time and often lead to stress and frustration for both patient and practice.
If your practice does not have these five tools available, it would be a wise goal to have them implemented before the end of next year! Once properly implemented and consistently used, you will find your aged A/R number will shrink and stay small. Most patients want to pay their bills. They just need options to make it easy for them!