Every healthcare facility's goal should be to capture 100 percent of revenue as soon as patients receive care. There are numerous reasons why this isn't the case in the real world, but that shouldn't stop providers from trying to increase the amount of revenue they capture. There are plenty of steps providers can take to improve their patient pay revenue, with one of the most important being the use of healthcare payment systems. There's another vital human aspect to consider, one that works synergistically with an advanced payment solution: open, honest, and proactive communication with patients.
"Clear, respectful communication about patient fiscal responsibility and their options are vital."
Making Communication a Priority
There are many different reasons patients don't pay following an exam or procedure. Some simply don't have the funds on hand. Others may legitimately forget to bring their debit or credit card or believe in the old method of waiting for a bill in the mail. No matter the reason behind not paying up front, it's a serious issue for providers.
Clear, respectful communication about patient fiscal responsibility and their options are vital in these situations. A patient who can't afford expensive treatment up front and their provider doesn't offer card-on-file payment plans may simply not pay after a certain point. Either way, the outcome is poor for both the patient and provider.
Leaders at a facility have to make sure staff prioritize proactive conversations with patients old and new, as well as develop a framework for how those conversations should take place. One important building block is directly discussing financial obligations as a patient arrives at the facility. This lets the provider set its clear expectations early on. This is also time to discuss payment options, including different types you accept. These are mutually agreeable ways to set up a payment plan if the patient can't provide the full amount that day.
Discussing your organization's position on patient payments is an important step with new patients, and should be heard in person as well as documented in physical or digital documents. These initial conversations can then be reinforced during subsequent visits, ensuring everyone is on the same page about when, how, and where payments are expected.