How Does Your Facility Convince Patients to Pay?

Posted by Dawn Lunde on Tue, May 09, 2017 @ 08:31 AM

Allowing patients to use payment plans when necessary is an essential component of capturing revenue.
Allowing patients to use payment plans when necessary is an essential component of capturing revenue.

There can be potential barriers on the path patients use to pay their medical bills. Some of these barriers have to do with the practices and systems healthcare providers use, while others are mostly or wholly on the patient side. While healthcare facilities are faced with the Herculean task of addressing both types of concerns, there are strategies and solutions available to effectively capture more patient payments and improve revenue cycle management.

Push for Payment Options and Education

"Your facility should emphasize the availability of payment plans to every patient."

Many patients are scared of a diagnosis that involves complicated medical problems because it often equates to large medical bills. A 2016 survey conducted by Copatient, a healthcare cost management service provider for patients, found 36 percent of patients received a medical bill they were unable to pay. Additionally, 41 percent had to use a payment plan to manage the expense.

What can your facility learn from these statistics? The glaring fact is that plenty of patients can't pay their bills all at once. The practical takeaway is a potential lack of knowledge about patient payment plans, something your facility should emphasize to patients who fall under the umbrella needing assistance to manage medical bills.

Patient payment plans empower patients and dispel fears about bills they can't pay in full at the point-of-service without reducing the revenue your facility deserves. Using pre-authorization on credit and debit cards makes sure your facility can automatically collect payments without requiring staff to engage in significant additional work. Scheduling debits on a regular basis fulfills a similar role, providing patients and your facility with a high degree of consistency.

While offering these plans is critical, it's only the first step in making them effective. Being able to have the Money Talk allows you to have an open discussion with your patients.  This open and comforting discussion can shed light on how your facilities payment options help them manage their fiscal responsibility. Often times, automated recurring payment plans are a great tool to get your foot in the door with an initial payment, but be flexible enough so your patient can continue to make substantial payments.

Use the Right Patient Payment Solution

Using an advanced payment solution that incorporates automated recurring payment plans, as well as other popular patient options like online bill pay, is critical to effectively managing revenue. Becker's Hospital Review highlighted a 2017 study from consumer transparency organization Amino and researcher Ipsos, which found 53 percent of Americans believe a medical bill they can't afford is just as bad as a serious diagnosis.

Modern healthcare payment systems, along with educational materials and staff who can answer questions with confidence, give providers the resources they need to combat these feelings. When payment options are clearly laid out in front of patients, it's easy for them to realize there's more than one way to handle their bills. Your facility will benefit from this change in attitude, and patients won't feel as scared or hopeless when they realize they have viable options to choose from.

Tags: Patient Payments

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Testimonials

  • "We have so much more information available to us with SBP than with our previous service. It's offering our patients more flexibility, and happier patients are much more pleasant for our Billing Office to deal with."

    - Kurt A.
    Revenue Cycle Manager
    National Imaging Center
  • "The staff at Secure Bill Pay have been an excellent revenue cycle partner in assisting us with setting up our processes, helping us review and analyze our results and identify opportunities at our various locations. They partner with us to identify new solutions and services as we have grown. The reliability for payment processing has been very good and our requests for Customer Support are handled very timely and thoroughly."
    - Kathleen J.
    Central Business Office Manager
    Multi-Hospital & Clinic Health System
  • "Our volume of patient credit/debit card payments increased by 44% in the first month of the service compared to that same month a year prior (with the same patient volume). We attribute that to now having online bill pay and better ability to collect at the POS for all of our locations [where we had not been before], even the outreach sites!"
    - Terry M.
    Practice Administrator
    Orthopedic Spine Surgery Group
  • “I’ve been shocked with the success of the online bill paying program... Patients come to us in acute health care situations. Bill paying is not their highest priority. We didn’t expect so many patients to use Secure Bill Pay so quickly, but the statistics speak for themselves.”
    - Beth M.
    VP Revenue Cycle
    Large University Health System
  • "Before Secure Bill Pay, online bill pay only accounted for one percent of our payments. After just six months of using Secure Bill Pay’s no-login solution, that number reached 10 percent."
    - Jen R.
    Finance Manager
    Large Ophthalmology Practice
  • “The nice part about Secure Bill Pay is the breadth of tools available to manage the entire patient pay process. But the best part is the outcomes we’ve seen, including year-over-year double-digit increases in patient pay revenue that are not wholly due to industry or volume changes.”

    "The integration with our PM/EMR software is simply icing on the cake."

    - Steve M.
    Director of Business Services
    Large Integrated Health System
  • "Senior Management is thrilled with the numbers coming through due to our implementation of Secure Bill Pay."
    - Kim W.
    Business Office Supervisor
    Inpatient & Outpatient Psychiatric Facility
  • "The system was received with open arms at each clinic. All had a few questions at first, but as you said, it was simple to get comfortable."
    - Sue C.
    Practice Manager
    Large Nephrology Practice
  • "Secure Bill Pay has streamlined our credit card process. It has been beneficial from a processing end to a storage and search of record end. Certainly saves us time!"
    - Jackie F.
    Business Office Manager
    Dematology Practice
  • "It is easy to talk about a product and service we are totally happy with!"
    - Cheryl M.
    Practice Manager
    Mid-size Ophthalmology Practice
  • "We're impressed. Thank you for not being afraid of any question we may ask and answering it in a straightforward manner. This gives us more confidence."
    - Grant E.
    Revenue Cycle Manager
    Large Dermatology Clinic
  • "Secure Bill Pay  is a much more efficient option for collecting patient payments... It is a forward thinking approach for healthcare revenue. Dynamics have switched where we all need to think and act like a business versus a service."

    - Julie H.
    Director of Business Services
    Large Physician Group

     

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