Patient Payment Collection Strategy: Are you heading right?

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Patient Payment Collection Strategy: Are you heading right?

It is the age of uncertainty! This stands especially true for our healthcare, where any amount of discussion or debate on repealing or replacing ACA is not holding water.

But one aspect that has stayed consistent is the increasing healthcare expense and the paradigm shift of payment responsibility towards patients.

This is when having a patient payment collection strategy gains momentum. All healthcare facilities seemingly have strategies in place for revenue collection. But the question is whether these strategies make a difference by translating into revenue.

If boosting payment collection is your priority then here are some tactics to consider:

The power of financial data

We all agree on the relevance of collecting patient data. But do we realize the criticality of collecting the financial data of our hospital?

Facilities should necessarily keep a track of the accounts receivables, failing of which will contribute to a whopping $35.7 Billion worth uncompensated care as reported by AHA.

A meticulous and transparent report on daily collections let alone will help you identify unpaid accounts and take definitive actions to close them.  Also analyzing the financial data will help you discover opportunities to improve payment collection. Say, if you are an ambulatory clinic with many repeat patients, such analysis will help you to identify regular defaulters and device payment strategies for them.

The convenience of digital payments

It is no surprise to know that in America, hardly 24% of us use cash for all or most of our purchases.

The mounting preference for digital payment is a compelling reason for hospitals to encourage digital payment at the point-of-service.  The 2016 Gallup study strongly states cashless transactions as more familiar and comfortable to the public. The study also alarms businesses on the necessity of adopting payments beyond cash for an improved customer experience.

Giving your patients the flexibility to pay via credit or debit increases the probability of payment collection. Card-on-file option automates payment with minimal or no efforts from your patients or staff. Introducing patient friendly payment plans helps patients to conveniently pay large medical expenses in small installments.

The right called ‘Bill Transparency’

We all are mindful of how much we pay for the services we receive. Most of us, if needed, take a second look at our bills in case of clarifications. But, when it comes to healthcare do patients have the transparency on what they are charged for?

It is necessary to bring transparency in the bill details to win the trust of your patients and retain them in your network.

A PwC report suggests hospitals consider price transparency to thrive in a consumer-driven healthcare environment. In healthcare where exorbitant hospital bills are common, any room for errors or overcharges might annoy the patients or invite uneasy payment conversations.

Automating the payment reminders

While deciphering ways to enhance payments, it is necessary to control overheads to avoid your revenue from draining. The age old ways of payment reminders via calls or letters just adds to the overheads with minimal results.

Optimizing payment reminders acts as a double booster to your revenue cycle by reducing overheads and driving patient payment collection. Automated reminders like call-to-action messages or emails is a faster and better option to reach your patients for payments. These reminders could be sent with the links to make payments online, which eliminates the need of patients to revisit the facility just to make payments.

A positive payment experience

Yes, at the end of the day, it all comes down to a positive payment experience. Designing a patient centric payment is the mojo.

A recent study finds 40% of patients stating how their interaction with the billing team influences their decision to recommend the hospitals to others. Also, patients who face negative payment experience are five times likely to share it with others.

So, it is imperative to deliver the best of payment experiences to your patients. This can be realized by demystifying your patient expectations and creating a patient friendly payment environment. Offering online payment option will give patients the ease and privacy to pay from anywhere they like. Giving the required transparency in the bill will help avoid uneasy payment conversation.  Also, flexible payment options will encourage patients to pay in their best capacity.

There are multiple solutions in the market that assure streamlined revenue collection. But the winning decision is to choose the one that sinks with your check-in workflow as a majority of payments happen right at the check-in.

Do you think these pointers would help to improve your payment collection?  Please let us know via comments below. 

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