Peer pressure. The phrase might remind you of adolescent memories where you may have been tempted by friends to stay out past curfew, play a trick on your younger sibling or grab that extra forbidden dessert before bed.
Peer pressure doesn’t have to be negative though. You may also have memories of positive peer pressure. For instance, studying with a group until the library closed so you could do better on a test or practicing kicking our soccer ball into the goal until long after dark, just so you could make the varsity team with your friends.
It’s this kind of positive peer pressure that can benefit physician practices and hospitals alike. In recent years, organizations have started adopting new technology, policies and processes to fuel patient collections. Oftentimes, technology champions “peer pressure” their peers into understanding the importance of implementing new processes. These new collections strategies usually have two main components:
1) Present up-front estimates and discuss payment options with patients, thus reinforcing their payment responsibility while arming them with information so they won’t be surprised later.
2) Provide consumer-friendly payment options commonly used in other industries; for instance, online bill payment, automated recurring payments and zero interest payment plans.
The recent American Public Media audiocast, “What’s Behind No-Interest Medical Credit,” shares how hospitals have made improvements by automating the estimation process and offering zero-interest payment plans.
While hospitals and physician practices vary in many ways, both are increasingly reliant on self-pay collections. So give into positive peer pressure – join hospitals and practices in their quest to accelerate and increase revenue from patient payments.
For more recommendations on improving patient collections strategies, download the white paper authored by Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC, Patient Collections: Business Critical for Today’s Medical Practices.