As is with everything in life, timing is everything. For example, it might be argued that Uber’s phenomenal success can be directly correlated to its debut to the market just as mobile payments were going mainstream and the sharing economy began trending with consumers.
Similarly, when healthcare organizations address balances with patients, they will often see more success when they talk with patients when they are in the office; not before, not after. Yet as patients’ financial responsibility continues to grow, healthcare organizations are scrambling to manage balance billing and many can’t seem to get in front of this retroactive billing practice. That’s because manual processes are outdated, inefficient, and staff often don’t have necessary training to approach financial conversations with patients with confidence and clarity.
Fortunately, a no-touch approach to patient payments can help make sure you don’t let payments walk out the door. The best practice option? Securely store a patient’s credit card information to keep on file and automate the rest.
Piedmont Urgent Care by WellStreet did just that and as a result was able to reduce bad debt by 75 percent, while also reducing the cost of patient billing in the process.
The process is simple – while the patient is in the office, staff obtains permission to store a credit card on file that can be charged up to an agreed-upon amount. Once third-party payment is received, and it’s clear how much is due from the patient, patients receive an email notification that the amount will be charged to their card, and receive a receipt once it has been processed. The balances are addressed at the time of service, leading to more patient understanding of the amount owed and increasing payment collected while decreasing cumbersome processes.
Timing truly is everything. While you might not be the next Uber, getting out in front of patient payment and addressing balances at the time of service will allow your organization to enjoy the same success as WellStreet. To learn more, read why patients and staff at WellStreet are more satisfied with the “no-touch” payment process and how it contributes to customer loyalty.