In this new era of patient payments, practice staff who are also parents have an added advantage – or at least extra preparatory training. In every phase of parenthood, our kids inundate us with a new line of questioning.
At age four, all questions are fair game – especially ones you’ve never considered yourself:
“What if Grandma were a lion?”
“If yellow lights mean slow down, why did you just speed up?”
At age sixteen, they’re all about rules and loopholes:
“Why do I have to be home at midnight when everyone else stays out ‘till two?”
“Why do I have to clean my room when it’s my room?”
When you’re talking to patients about their financial responsibility, they can be just as full of questions. And you can’t really blame them; it seems like only yesterday, they gave you a ten-dollar co-payment and that was the end of the story.
Today, your practice can increase collections simply by anticipating the questions patients may ask, and providing this information as you request payment.
At pre-service – for instance, when making an appointment reminder call – let patients know if you’re introducing new policies by collecting at the time of service or setting up payment plans, and then tell them what they’ll owe.
At the time of service, provide a written estimate. Often, this piece of paper will alleviate a great deal of concern. Have each patient sign the estimate and provide a credit card number, which will be charged up to the amount of the estimate.
The Real Price of Getting Paid shows just how much physician practices spend to collect patient payments. Your practice needn’t pay such a high price, though. By informing patients about their financial responsibility and coupling this education with proactive, automated collection processes, you can give patients peace of mind while boosting your practice’s financial health.