According to a study done by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2019, the premium for family coverage insurance plans rose 22% over the last five years and 54% over the last ten years, but wages have not increased that quickly. This essentially means healthcare is getting more expensive while patients have less money to budget for those services. While COVID and the No Surprise Bills Act have affected that data in the years since, it’s still clear that patient payment responsibility has increased and will continue to do so based on the trend. For the benefit of both patients and providers, clinics should be focusing on personalization and a versatile set of tools.
A dedicated system for your patients allows them to feel secure as they view their bills and also pay them. They are typically set up for self-service, so they should be easy to navigate and functional. Patients will lose trust if the software you choose cannot handle your current patient capacity or it’s confusing to use.
Depending on your cliental and their preferences, it might be ideal to send billing statements in a couple ways. If a patient has already created an account for the patient portal, you can confirm that they use it and ask if they would prefer getting a notification there for payment. Even if you automatically send e-statements, you can cover your bases by sending a hard copy in the mail as well.
With more financial responsibility on the patient comes the need for paying in small increments when dealing with a large bill. Without that option, patients are more likely to put off paying their bill, and then it may get sent to collections. To avoid the patient dealing with that and the provider losing out on revenue, it’s important to walk patients through your payment plan options or have that info available in the patient portal. Setting the plan up for automatic payments also helps them stay on track.
Digital payments are about more than just credit cards—it also includes having the option to use mobile wallets. When completing on-site payments, clinics should be prepared with a machine that can take chipped cards and mobile wallets in a secure and efficient way.
Whether you are in the process of improving your payment options or don’t know where to start, the experts at Outsource Receivables Inc. can help transition your clinic to a more efficient billing process.