Since 2012, we have seen an incredible spike in patient deductibles which we all know has translated into working harder to collect patient responsibility. One of the ways improvements can be made is by investing just a little time with your statements vendor to make a big impact on improved collections and patient satisfaction.
Designing your statements and tailoring your messaging with patients in mind is crucial. By strategically producing your statements, you can reduce collection costs and increase payment performance. These simple but effective steps can significantly change how your users view and pay their patient statements.
1. Personalize your statements:
Each patient is unique, and each has a particular lifestyle and financial situation. To help maximize payment results consider utilizing patient profiles such as payment history, balance amounts, or demographics. Tailor your statement to each particular group.
- Discounts for prompt payments sent to patients who have a history of late payments
- Determine families that visit regularly and promote your patient portal
- Offer a payment plan for high balances over $1,000
- For small balances offer simple online or mobile options
2. Keep it Simple:
Simplify your patient statements. Look through the eyes of the patient. A perplexing layout or too much information can discourage payment, leading to headaches for both you and your users.
- Try to keep the descriptions simple to read. Long, detailed descriptions add confusion and add to lengthy statements which drive up costs
- Condense previous balances and make them a one-line item
- Send eStatements with zero balances or zero charges. Save your practice mailing costs
- Make sure to address your cleansing and return mail processes to ensure efficiency while reducing bad debt from AR response timing from lack of patient contact
3. Offer multiple payment options:
By offering multiple payment options on your patient statements, you can have faster payments, shorter billing cycles, improved AR performance while enhancing the patient relationship.
- Provide a one-click payment option from your website
- Offer as many payment options as possible – eCheck/ACH, VISA, MC, Discover, and AMEX
- Offer mobile options such as using a (QR Code) or Quick Response Code that integrated with statements so patients can pay within seconds
- Provide an (IVR) or Integrated Voice Response to facilitate payments by phone
- Collect credit/debit card payments at the first point of service while leveraging eStatements on post adjudicated balances
- Being proactive and transparent provides a more positive billing experience which increases patient satisfaction reduces costs and improves financial performance
4. eStatements for more convenience:
Electronic patient statements, or eStatements, are a great way to increase delivery time while minimizing costs. Have your patient opt-in on the date of the service for electronic delivery and you can begin to see the advantages almost immediately. This medium can significantly reduce AR days outstanding and drive down your statement delivery costs by catering to the needs of your patient while providing simple methods of payment.
- Enhance and simplify your enrollment process and speed by reducing the time it takes for patients to answer questions and fill out paperwork
- Use links that pre-populate common fields to reduce errors and increase satisfaction
- Email notifications to encourage engagement and faster payments when the patient statement is ready or past due with quick click payment options
5. Measure, Measure, Measure
In these digital times, hard numbers and analytics can help you see what is effective and, more importantly, what isn’t. Set goals that align with your processes and measure your improvement. Measure types of payments received, how much was collected vs. total debt, the number of days from billing to payment, the number of support calls, time spent supporting various payment options, and patient satisfaction. Other benefits:
- Reduced bad debt
- Improved revenue cycle efficiency
- Accelerated payments
- Increased online, IVR and mobile payments
- Diminished support calls
When it comes to patient statements and collections, prolonged healthcare billing cycles are concerning for both medical groups and revenue cycle management companies. Avoiding complications and headaches in the process means more time for more important tasks on the administrative side, but it means less confusion and hassle for your patients.
Patient confusion and frustration sometimes begin when they receive various bills jumbled with codes and language they do not understand paired with charges they do not recognize. This confusion leads to increased customer service calls with questions and sometimes even fail to pay at all.
Consider making a change that will improve the printing and mailing process. For over ten years, MailMyStatements has been managing patient statements design, printing, mailing, and payments for healthcare clients of all sizes. Leverage our expertise and experience to improve your process. Be confident in your information’s security as MailMystatements is a HITRUST Certified Company.
Are you interested in refreshing your patient statements and improving billing efficiency for your practice, hospital, or revenue cycle system? How about shortening payment cycles? Improving the patient experience? Contact us today.
Michael Bell is the Chief Marketing Officer for MailMyStatements. Mike is a dynamic, innovative thinker, a healthcare technology advocate, a consumer, a patient, and an avid golfer.
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