When speaking to doctors and administrators about getting paid at EOB through the use of card-on-file, I often get asked how to enforce the policy. It’s a great question and is as simple as spending a dollar.
This trick assumes that you have adequately prepared your patients through marketing and financial policy communication. It also assumes that you are determined to start the collections process when the patient shows up for his or her first appointment instead of after treatment. Having determined to do these things, you can now give your front desk a great incentive to obtain credit card information from every patient. (If you are new to this blog and card-on-file you may want to check out http://www.easypaycollect.com/card-on-file-resource-page)
Realize that your front desk is your front line to getting paid. If they are prepared and excited about the success of the practice, you will solve your payment problems before they start. Here are two quick points to help turn your front desk into a patient friendly collections department.
Prepare Front Desk Personnel with Scripts. The hardest part of collecting payment is talking about it. The mere suggestion that your staff talk to patients about their bills strikes fear in the hearts of many front desk professionals. You can take the fear out of the interaction by providing ready-made answers to the most common objections patients bring up. We have a quick video to help you script for your practice. Check it out here: Overcoming Patient Objections
Motivate Front Desk Personnel with Cash. It may sound crude and simplistic, but it works! Once you’ve prepared your staff, then make it worth their while. Again, conversations about bills and money are hard to have. A tangible financial reward helps motivate staff and it’s not expensive. Experience tells us that every card-on-file you obtain will save you the costs of billing, check processing, collections, and bad debt. Not to mention the stress of all of these! To put that cost in dollars, it's somewhere between $15 to $45 per account or more. Who wouldn’t spend $1 to avoid losing much more?
Here’s how it works. Tell your staff that you will pay them $1 cash for every patient they obtain a card-on-file for. Do the numbers for them. If you see 20-30 patients a day they have the potential to earn an extra $25 bucks or so per day. That’s $125 per week, $500 per month. After a few months, they should have the majority of your patients signed. You spent $500 per month to prevent losing thousands over the course of the year. I like that math!
Learn More about card-on-file and how your practice can get payables under control.