98% of text messages are read within 2 minutes of being received.
In contrast, email open rates are between 30 - 40% for transactional emails (non-marketing emails). And a quick look at your patient aging numbers will probably tell you your percentage for paper bill opens. How many bills get paid the first billing cycle? That’s close to your open rate for paper.
Given these figures, why wouldn’t we do everything possible to invite patients to receive text reminders with direct links to their bills and a way to pay them?
We have the technology. We have the patient’s phone numbers. We have the patient’s trust. We are not marketing anything to them. We are simply reminding them of their obligation and giving them a convenient way to pay it. So why aren’t more practices taking advantage of the single most powerful method of getting attention in today’s world?
I suspect it’s that billing departments are so busy wrestling money out of insurance companies and chasing delinquent patient bills that they don’t have a lot of extra time to innovate or find better answers. It’s one of the reasons we write this blog - to make you aware of the technology that can make your life easier. Less stressful.
Imagine this. With your billing, be it paper or electronic, you have the ability to send a text reminder to your patient that the bill is due. Imbedded into that text is a link to view and pay that bill. He or she may get the paper bill but will also be able to see it online. Imagine also that the patient will receive a text message every week or every few days until your system shows the bill paid. How do you suppose that will affect your A/R aging?
You may already be sending non-ePHI appointment reminders. Why not add non-ePHI billing reminders? Both are HIPAA compliant. Both very effective ways to get your patient’s attention.
There are many solution providers that will automate this for you. We are partnered with a few of them and would be glad to make an introduction.
Take a few minutes to treat yourself to some innovation, reduce your stress, and free up time to do more important tasks. We encourage you to research text-to-pay options and think about how your office could implement them. It could be the best year-end present you ever give yourself, your practice, and your patients.