Patients want to pay their healthcare bills on time. Yet, patient payments often arrive well past the standard ‘Net 30’ terms. Some patients may not make a payment until their bill goes to collections, resulting in additional fees for the practice. If patients mean well, what’s the holdup? Why do healthcare practices battle late payments so frequently?
For many, outdated billing and collections practices may be the culprit. If you’re wondering how to get patients to pay their bills, you may want to align your processes with patient preferences. Otherwise, you may be stuck dealing with overdue medical bills and lagging revenue cycle indicators. It all leads to a less-reliable cash flow that, ultimately, can hinder practice growth.
As you assess your opportunities at improvement, answer the following questions to help you figure out the proper patient payment solution at your practice.
3 questions to help you figure out how to get patients to pay their bills
1. Does your practice send invoices via snail mail?
It’s called snail mail for a reason. Sending paper invoices to patients via the postal service is not the fastest or most efficient way to ask for payment.
If sending paper through the mail is still your primary mode of invoicing, you can chalk up late payments to delivery delays, a misplaced bill at a patient’s home, or even the hassle of just finding a stamp.
Across industries, nearly half of consumers want the option to make payments by receiving an invoice via text message, according to Zipwhip. In addition, 67 percent of consumers prefer paying medical bills online, according to InstaMed.
Consider the alternative patient payment solution: payment options that offer digital invoicing via email or text to facilitate prompt, easier payment. Your patients will no longer have issues related to paper billing and your practice is positioned to get paid on time.
2. Does your practice send payment reminders to patients?
Wondering how to get patients to pay their bills before the due date? Here’s a simple strategy: Remind them to do so. Data supports that patients demand digital reminders for their medical appointments. It makes sense they’d want the same for their expected payments, too. After all, it’s a lot harder to forget a payment is due if you’ve been reminded.
Send payment reminders so each patient receives a timely notification to pay their bill. Combined with an online payment option, your practice will be on your way to improving your days in A/R and your chances of getting paid on time. Practices using text message notifications for payments have seen significantly faster patient collections and an increase in collected revenue.
3. Is your patient payment process convenient?
Practices that want to get paid promptly need to invest in patient payment solutions that make the process easy for patients — the more convenient the task, the better chance it will get done.
The more work or time involved for patients, the less likely you’ll receive timely patient payments. Online bill pay is a patient payment solution that gives patients optimal convenience: with a couple clicks, they can pay their bill quickly from any computer or mobile device, in just a matter of minutes.
Improve patient satisfaction and get paid on time with a digital patient payment solution
Giving patients the option to pay online fulfills a core aspect of patient satisfaction. In fact, 56 percent of patients would consider switching providers for a simpler payment experience, according to InstaMed.
If you’re tired of late patient payments, here’s a simple way to solve your problems: implementing a HIPAA-compliant digital patient payment solution. You’ll introduce an easier, more reliable billing and collection process to your practice and patients and benefit from higher collection rates — an essential element of practice growth.