If you want to increase practice profitability and haven’t mastered patient collections, consider how you might employ technology to help you succeed in the new high deductible landscape.
As healthcare costs rapidly shift to patients in the form of high deductible plans, a larger portion of practice revenue is dependent on the collection of patient portion. Practices that are unable to successfully collect from or make payment agreements with patients at the time of service will see increased bad debt and be at significant financial risk moving into the future.
If you want to increase practice profitability and haven’t mastered patient collections, consider how you might employ technology to help you succeed in the new high deductible landscape. Doing so will both support and expedite the collection efforts of staff and the payment efforts of patients. It’s time that healthcare providers catch up with other industries in their consumer-focused strategies that get you paid sooner rather than later! After all, no one thinks twice about handing their major credit card over to pay their mechanic, paying in full at the grocery store or paying at the time of ordering purchases online – it’s expected that we will pay at time of service and it’s expected that these businesses will accommodate our preferred payment methods.
Additionally, patient collection efforts need to be consistent and humans simply aren’t as reliably consistent as automated systems. It’s important to consider taking advantage of anything your practice management vendor offers to support your efforts to relieve the administrative burden from your staff.
Keep in mind; technology will never replace the personal touch that a properly trained and naturally suited staff member can bring to this process. It’s also important that all members of your practice team understand the practice financial policy and their part in reinforcing it with patient-friendly language. However, utilizing technological tools to support your staff’s efforts to communicate to patients before, during and after visits will significantly increase your chances of getting full payment by your patients before they even leave your office.