We live in a time where everything seems to be changing to emphasize convenience. It seems we can now get almost anything done with a few taps on our cell phones. We can order lunch, buy groceries, pay bills, and stream almost any movie or music we can imagine. However, our medical bills and payments seem to be lagging in the past. People are less inclined than ever to do anything inconvenient. So, it is imperative that we make our billing and payment systems more convenient. Here are a few things you can do to get paid faster in 2021.
Start With An Easy Invoice
The first step in getting any bill paid is making sure the patient sees and understands it. Mail is still one of the most reliable methods of communication in the world. However, it can also be a graveyard for bills. When a bill arrives at a patient’s home, it may be tossed into a pile where it sits forgotten. Make sure that paper bills are clearly marked in as large an envelope as possible. This helps it stand out from the pile and get noticed.
You should also utilize as many electronic delivery options as possible. With proper releases, you can send invoices via email, or even send texts that link to the invoice in your patient portal. These should also link to the payment system so the patient can pay the invoice right from their device.
Once the bill has been opened, make sure it is easily understood. Clearly itemize services, and optimize your revenue cycle so that you consolidate visits and services. This way, your patients can easily see their charges and pay for all services at one time. This is much more convenient than receiving separate bills from different providers and departments.
Easy Payment Options
Once the patient has a bill that is easy to access and understand, it is very important that it is easy to pay. As we briefly mentioned above, optimizing electronic invoices with links to payment systems makes it easier for patients to pay online with a credit card. Additionally, consider the possibility of adding other online payment methods like paypal. Patients with mobility issues or simply motivation issues will find it very convenient to simply log into their paypal account and connect with your portal in just a few clicks.
Another thing to consider is offering payment plans and making them more easily accessible. Many systems and providers offer payment plans on a case by case basis, but this increases the need for the patient to call or visit and speak with your staff. If you offer a short term payment plan by default, including the option to set up automatic payments, you reduce the strain on your team and increase the likelihood of being paid within 90 days.
Make Communication Easy and Pleasant
No one likes having to call their doctor’s office or hospital billing department. It is often an auditory maze of prompts to follow and numbers to press. Or worse, a voice recognition system that can’t understand what you’re saying. These options that are intended to save time often end up having the opposite effect, and cause people to become frustrated before they ever speak to a human.
There are so many options available today that allow people to communicate with businesses without having to make a phone call. Email, text, and chat systems are just a few of them. Of course, privacy and HIPAA are major concerns with these, but they can still be very viable options for answering generic questions that don’t require verifying the patient’s identity.
When a phone call is necessary, make sure you have a system that maximizes human interaction. Everyone is happier and more willing to open their wallet when they speak with another person who understands their perspective and is willing to help.
Southwest Recovery Services Makes It Easy for Providers
Once you have done everything you can to make it easy for patients to pay their invoices, you should see an increase in payments and a decrease in your wait time. However, no amount of optimization will get your to 100% on time payments. That’s where Southwest Recovery Services comes in. We can take over your past due collection and revenue cycle management so that you can serve your current patients better. Click here to learn more about our medical bill collection services.