What if you could collect payment for medical services before the patient even walked in your door? That is the strategy that many hospitals are beginning to utilize and it won’t be long before physician practices begin to do the same.
Due to rising healthcare costs that have left patients responsible for a larger portion of their bill with skyrocketed deductibles, hospitals are taking a proactive approach to collect payments from patients before services. Here we explore some ways in which your practice can utilize these same strategies and avoid having to waste time and resources collecting past due patient balances.
- Be upfront. By taking time to explain a patient’s financial responsibilities before the time of service, the sticker shock of what they owe after the fact is lessened. This increased financial awareness allows for greater time to plan accordingly, for both the patient and the provider.
- Make it easy. Calling a patient before their appointment and explaining their financial responsibilities up front and ahead of time is one way you can make the patient collection process easier, for both patient and practice. Another way to increase patient convenience is to implement a payment software program to collect patient financial information, like a credit card on file program. When the patient—who is informed about what they will owe—comes in for their appointment, they are more willing to sign up for a credit card on file because they are informed and engaged in the payment process already.
- Be accommodating. After making the pre-visit phone call, you will be able to better identify if the patient is able to pay. With increasing deductibles on most healthcare plans, some patients aren’t even aware of how much they owe before insurance will cover their expenses. This is a good time to offer easy, efficient payment plans to patients who express a need. And, what better way to collect these payments than with a credit card on file? It will save the time and resources of your staff, as well as ease the patient’s mind.
These guidelines are a starting point towards putting you on the track to uncovering patient payment solutions. Learn more about the process by downloading our card on file guide below.