The patient experience begins the moment a patient sets an appointment and doesn't end until they have paid for the cost of care. It extends beyond the interaction between a patient and a doctor. Establishing a trustworthy patient/provider connection requires a flawless procedure. Payment collections are one aspect of the process that has an impact. This has an effect on the patient experience as well as the financial health of your clinic.
Snail Mail Payment
Patient collections are often handled by healthcare practitioners after an appointment has taken place and after a patient has left the office. It has sometimes been a while since the time of service when a patient receives a bill in the mail. This method often also involves some effort on the side of the patient, such as making a phone call to the office to offer payment information, visiting a website to input account details, or sending a payment by mail - if one is made at all. Due to this, billing personnel must follow up by phone or with additional written reminders when numerous paper bills get misplaced in a stack.
According to research, collecting patient copays and unpaid balances at the time of service, just before a patient leaves the clinic, increases the likelihood of financial success. It's also worthwhile. After patients leave the office, practices only get paid 50 to 70 percent of the time. It's time to approach patient collections strategically.
The three main advantages of collecting copays and unpaid balances at the time of service are as follows.
Promote better patient/provider interactions With time-of-service payment options, it is possible to streamline the patient experience while also increasing billing transparency, support, and service. This is made possible via payment terminals. This presents an opportunity to speak with the patient and address any queries they may have regarding the balance owed. Patients also have the option to pay in a safe manner they are comfortable with, such as with a credit card or even Google Pay or Apple Pay. This choice helps your team build stronger patient connections based on empathy, open communication, and a culture of trust by meeting patients where they are most comfortable.
Reduce the expense of back-end collection and medical billing Time-of-service payments can address the amount owed for a particular visit, as well as outstanding balances. A payment terminal can manage online and offline sales, refunds, and payouts in addition to improving collection efficiency. Your billing department and administrative team will experience a number of benefits, among others. - Reduced mistakes due to manual updates and entries - Reduced cost for back-end collection - Your staff will have more time to focus on other crucial revenue cycle management challenges. - Increased uniformity between the front office and billing departments
Generate additional revenue Providers can gain an advantage and keep control over their practice's revenue by commencing the collection process while a patient is still in the office receiving treatment rather than at the very end (after they have left). Patients can ask questions at the point of care, and your team can respond with direction and clarity to provide the best possible results for collections. Training your staff in the following areas can help this process be improved: - Verify the amount due - Continue to have a helpful and kind attitude - Provide payment options and gather - If the balance is not paid in full, provide a printed version of their outstanding invoice.
Patient collections is one of the key sources of income for your practice. But slow patient response might be caused by rising bills, uncertainty over payment obligations, and a lack of communication. Start concentrating on time-of-service collections, and teach your employees how to speak to patients effectively and compassionately. The three main advantages of time-of-service collections can boost patient collecting efficiency for your business.
A payment terminal reader at your front office empowers patients and front office staff to address in-person time-of-service payment collection. Using such a system will make it easier for you to implement integrated technology that supports a more straightforward patient experience, lowers the investment required for medical billing, and ultimately generates more revenue so that your practice can continue to meet patients' needs and establish a solid provider/patient relationship.
To find out how ONDADOT can boost your patient collection practices, book an appointment with one of our Billing Experts.
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