4 Strategies to Simplify Patient Payments
With healthcare costs on the rise and an increasing segment of uninsured consumers, the patient payment landscape is changing rapidly. How can medical offices evolve and optimize collections while keeping patient satisfaction high? Thankfully advancing technologies are making it easy to simplify collection processes to increase revenue.
1) Communicate responsibility
How many times have you purchased a good or service without knowing the cost beforehand? Probably not many. Healthcare should not be any different. By providing cost expectations, care providers can give patients the opportunity to not only understand their fiscal responsibility, but to also take a proactive, involved approach. Communication allows patients to determine if the value of the service they are receiving is worth the cost. When finances and choices are transparent, patient satisfaction rises.
2) Collect upfront
It’s said that medical providers collect only 25 percent, on average, of available co-pays and deductibles at the time of service. If the patient departs after the initial visit without making a payment, the likelihood of receiving the co-pay drops significantly. Consumers are used to paying for a product at service at the time of use, so why should medical care be different? Capitalize on patients that are willing to pay at the time of service by collecting upfront. Processing payment during the appointment is a step toward helping the patient to be invested in their care, which increases the chance of gaining future payments.
3) Empower patients
We know that patients are taking a more active role in their care and like to be in control of costs. Knowledge is power, and giving patients the information and tools needed is critical to empowering patients to pay. An effective strategy engages the patient early to learn their payment and communication preferences, then proving the proper options.
4) Build awareness
When adding payment options or considering changes to your payment workflow, increasing awareness is key. Be sure to engage your staff and provide the most accurate information on your website and within advertising tools (such as posters in the waiting room). If time and budget allows, conduct a survey to gain patient feedback. A small sampling of users will give insight on the likelihood that patients will adopt new tools and practices. It’s critical to explain value in an informative, yet simple to understand way that will resonate with your audience.
Thinking your practice may not have the staff or means to optimize payment processes? Consider tools from TriZetto Provider Solutions that can enable patients to conveniently pay by utilizing a variety of methods including easy-to-understand statements, integrated credit card processing, text-to-pay, interactive voice response payments or a secure payment portal.