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April 21, 2023 in Patient Payments

How a Flexible Patient Payment Plan can Improve Patient Experience

How a Flexible Patient Payment Plan can Improve Patient Experience2

Managing predictable cash flow and maintaining sustainable revenue cycles within the healthcare industry has become increasingly challenging, primarily due to difficulties in patient payment collection.

With more than 55% of Americans enrolled in HDHPs in 2021 (a new record), and a growing number of uninsured patients (self-pay) have led to mounting financial burdens for patients. This makes it difficult for providers to collect full payments promptly.

Furthermore, even for patients with conventional health insurance coverage, the impending adoption of value-based reimbursement models by many insurance providers will shift a larger portion of financial responsibility onto patients.

The negative impact of uncollected patient payments on the financial health of medical practices is undeniable. Physicians typically recover less than 16% of fees owed once accounts are sent to collections, and 83% of practices identify slow payments from HDHP patients as their primary collection challenge.

Patient payment plan

Implement a Patient Payment Plan to Increase Collections

The truth is that most patients don’t have the cash at hand to cover large medical bills. Demanding a one-time payment will simply deter them from making any payment at all.

Instead, medical practices should aim to collect a smaller amount but more frequently. By offering a patient payment plan, you can get paid sooner and collect more outstanding balances.

You should work with patients’ financial capabilities and design payment options that will increase the likelihood of receiving payments while reducing the financial burden on patients. This will create a better patient experience that increases retention rates and referrals.

Not to mention, a payment plan allows you to have more visibility into your cash flow, so you can manage revenue cycles and achieve better financial health for your practice.

How to Increase the Effectiveness of a Patient Payment Plan

To implement a patient payment plan cost-efficiently, you should standardize the payment solutions so you can simplify the patient experience, streamline operations, and reduce errors.

Because most consumers are used to paying bills and managing their relationships with service providers digitally, you should allow patients to process their payments via an online patient portal.

When patients enter and save their credit card information using an online patient portal’s card-on-file service, you can automatically process payments each month without having to wait for patients to initiate the transaction.

Not only will you get paid on time, but you’ll also be offering a convenient service that will augment the patient experience.

Final Thoughts

The ability to increase patient payment collection will directly affect the cash flow and financial health of your practice.

By offering patient payment plans, you can increase collection, improve the predictability of your cash flow, and boost the patient experience. It’s vital to choose an online patient portal that has proper security measures in place (e.g., being HIPAA and HITRUST compliant) to store patient and credit card information so you can rest assured that the sensitive patient data is protected, allowing you to stay compliant at all times.

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