Medical practice managers and healthcare managers know the importance of improving patient collections. By adopting technology, practices can increase revenue, strengthen patient relationships and streamlining internal processes. Embracing new strategies and tools eliminate the high cost of patient collections
1) Online Payments
Overall, technology should be part of the entire billing process, from tracking invoice creation with third-party vendors to emailing receipts to patients. But, an important efficiency in the payment process is the ability for patients to make online payments. This patient collections option increases revenue and improves patient satisfaction.
Automatic payment technology has increased front-office patient payment processing by over 100% and reduced administrative costs by over 50% in some practices. Some hospitals have experienced an 85% increase in adoption of online payments. When patients leave the office, they are given a business card with the payment website, along with their copy of bill.
2)Reports and Incentive Programs
To improve efficiencies, many businesses look to data to increase transparency and accountability. An added benefit is ensuring that the entire revenue management structure is fully informed on all the payment statistics of the practice. An example of this is issuing daily reports to all staff involved, from CFO to front-office administrative staff. These reports detail daily collections, day-over-day payment processing, number of patients registered for online payments, etc.
Many practices are developing incentive-based programs to improve collections. These goal-based bonus programs evaluate collection history and customer service.
3) Patient Payment Plans
Patients respond positively to regular fixed payment plans that are electronically-debited from their bank accounts or credit cards. Options for fixed monthly payment plans have shown to drastically increase collections – especially true for larger bills. An added benefit is that it creates predictable monthly revenue streams.
Almost every other business has this option – from monthly gym members to new car payments. Unlike medical practices, these companies don’t issue a monthly invoice and hope to be paid on time, month after month. They wisely implement automatic payments from a customer’s checking account, debit card or credit card.
Bottom Line: Increase Revenue
It’s not a unique problem – all medical practices face the challenge of on-time bill payments and collections. Online payments, options for automated monthly payments, and internal incentive-based programs have all been shown to increase revenue.
Download our guide below for tips on implementing a card-on-file policy in your medical group.